FILE – Backyard burning in Chilliwack, B.C. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Seven small wildfires burning in B.C. as warm weather brings dry conditions

BC Wildfire Service urging caution as winter weather melts

The B.C. government is urging caution when doing any outdoor burning, as the recent stint of warm weather has caused dry conditions.

On Friday afternoon, a small wildfire was spotted just outside Cranbrook’s city limits. Fire crews were able to quickly respond to the blaze, estimated to be roughly seven hectares in size.

A second wildfire, burning 250 hectares large, sparked Saturday afternoon just outside of Kamloops in Chase.

Since the start of the year, there have been 17 wildfires reported across the province. Seven are currently classified as being held or under control.

The first was reported on Jackass Mountain, between Boston Bar and Lytton, on Feb. 26, and has since been put out by fire crews.

The largest was an estimated 30 hectares found burning near Morris Valley Road in the Fraser Valley on March 5.

“To help reduce the number of preventable wildfires, people wanting to light an open fire must watch for changing weather conditions and follow all burning regulations,” the forest ministry said in a statement Friday.

Recommended precautions include:

  • Ensuring that enough resources are on hand to control the fire and prevent it escaping.
  • Not burning during windy conditions. Weather conditions can change quickly and the wind may carry embers to other combustible material and start new fires.
  • Creating an appropriately sized fireguard around the planned fire site by clearing away twigs, grass, leaves and other combustible material, right down to the mineral soil.
  • Consider conducting smaller burns around the perimeter of the main fire site before lighting the main fire. This will create a fuel break and help prevent the fire spreading beyond its intended size.
  • Never leaving a fire unattended.
  • Making sure the fire is completely extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.

While fire danger ratings are not calculated by the BC Wildfire Service until May 1, the recent warming in most B.C. regions has prompted a reminder from authorities that hot spots from prior wildfires can re-emerge due to “overwintering” fires.

This happens when a fire continues to smoulder deep underground through the winter months, and can flare up with the arrival of spring.

Burning regulations can be found on the BC Wildfire Service website.

Between April 2018 and March 2019 there were 2,112 wildfires, torching 1.3 million hectares of land. Roughly 40 per cent of fires are human-caused each year.

WATCH: Do you know the wildfire terms?


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Purple Light Nights committee of Chilliwack is rolling out exciting new events starting Oct. 1

Key message is still that intimate partner violence has no place in our community

Agassiz administrator to teach ‘psychological first aid’ course

ACE principal Sandy Balascak will be sharing how to help others deal with a mental health crisis

Shandhar Hut of Chilliwack wins bragging rights for best Indian cuisine in B.C.

The popular family restaurant saw an outpouring of testimonials and voting from adoring clientele

Vokes range in Chilliwack River Valley reopens to military marksmenship training

The rifle range shut down last summer due to safety concerns about richochets, according to DND

Armed ERT officers respond to firearm report near Chilliwack middle school Friday

School put in hold-and-secure in the afternoon as incident was resolved

VIDEO: “How dare you?” Greta Thunberg addresses UN climate summit

‘We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and yet all you can talk about is money.’

Pettersson has 4 points as Canucks dump Ottawa 6-4

Vancouver wins NHL pre-season tilt in Abbotsford

British man returns to Yukon to tipple his own toe in long-running tradition

So-called sourtoe cocktail is a shot of whisky with a mummified human toe in it

Poll suggests Canadians concerned about fake news, but struggle to spot it

56 per cent of respondents admitted to reading or sharing inaccurate news

Province announces $3.5 million in funding for community solutions to overdose crisis

Grants up to $50,000 will be available for municipalities working with a regional health authority

Conservatives’ plan to ease mortgage stress-test rules may raise debt and prices

Andrew Scheer vows to loosen rules around stress test and remove it altogether for mortgage renewals

B.C. mom urges patience after rude comments while out with toddlers

People asked to be better and to help each other

U.S. wrestler says viral speeding ticket video was staged

WWE wrestler Lacey Evans says she does not condone disrespecting law enforcement officers

‘Own a piece of history’: Beachcombers location Molly’s Reach up for sale

‘This is one of B.C.’s most photographed buildings’

Most Read