Since Monday, July 20, the BC Wildfire Service has responded to 81 new wildfires in the Southeast Fire Centre. All but five of those fires were lightning-caused.
Ground crews are being supported by helicopters and airtankers as they work to contain and extinguish the fires, with 39 of them already out or contained. None of the new fires is currently a threat to any structures or communities. However, smoke from some of them may be highly visible in nearby populated areas.
Although most of the fires that started this week were caused by lightning, five were started by human activity. The Southeast Fire Centre urges industry personnel and members of the public to be careful in or around forests or grasslands, since person-caused fires divert resources that are currently needed for lightning-caused fires.
There are two new fires of note in the Southeast Fire Centre:
* The Ward Creek fire, 30 kilometres west of Newgate and east of Gilnockie Provincial Park, is estimated at 150 hectares.
* The second fire is 12 kilometres southwest of Golden in the Parson area and covers 115 hectares.
Firefighters are working with helicopter support and heavy equipment to contain these fires. Neither fire is currently a threat to structures or communities, although they may be visible in surrounding areas.
Crews are also responding to multiple spot-sized fires on the north and south ends of Christina Lake. While they are visible from the community of Christina Lake, these fires are not threatening any structures. Several other spot-sized fires (less than one hectare) are burning elsewhere in the Southeast Fire Centre, with the majority of them burning in the Boundary and Upper Arrow Lake regions.
The current fire danger rating is “high” in the Revelstoke, Boundary, Kootenay Lake, Arrow and Cranbrook areas, moderate” to “low” in the majority of the Columbia region and “moderate” in the Invermere Fire Zone.
A repeating pattern of lightning storms, accompanied by variable amounts of precipitation, have ignited 308 lightning-caused fires in the Southeast Fire Centre so far this season. There have been a total of 368 fires since April 1, which have burned 2,012 hectares.
To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.
For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to: http://www.bcwildfire.ca