The BC Wildfire Dashboard is reporting two new fires south of Golden, after a relatively tame and fire free summer.
One fire, located north of Parson, is described to be in the Mallard Creek area. The other is just north of Bugaboo Provincial Park, in the Vowell Creek area.
Both were reported on Sept. 1.
According to Donna McPherson, a fire information officer for the southeast fire centre, both are small and at high elevation, and do not pose any risk to structures in the area.
The Mallard Creek fire is described as a ‘spot size’ fire at o.009 hectares in size, the smallest reported sized fire that can appear on the map, according to McPherson.
Currently, Mallard Creek is being bucketed to cool it down.
Vowell Creek is slightly larger, at 0.1 hectares in size. There are no resources dedicated to that fire at the moment.
Both fires are being monitored daily with flyovers.
McPherson says that the cause of the fires are likely lightning and that they are what are described as “hold over fires”.
Hold over fires are quite common, explained McPherson, and occur when lightning strikes a tree and moves through its core into the roots, through the ground. At some point, another tree may catch fire in the woods.
Often times, this fire is not visible at the surface and occurs in the core of the tree, which means it can take several days for the fire to become visible. This often occurs in sick trees that may have a hollow core.
Holdover fires are why lightning caused fires don’t get reported until several days after a storm.
“We’ve been expecting holdover fires, and we’re just starting to see them now,” said McPherson.
The heat wave to start September may mean that more holdover fires will start appearing.
While campfires are allowed once more in the Southeast Fire Centre, McPherson says that it’s still wise to be cautious and that only a very specific type of campfire is allowed.
“It has to be small, a half meter by a half meter, and you have to have it contained and have a way of putting it out nearby,” explained McPherson.
“When you put it out, it has to be cold to the touch before you leave. We feel that a well managed and contained fire doesn’t pose much of a risk right now, but we are concerned about people thinking fires of any size are permitted – that’s not true.”
BC Wildfire Service is also asking that the public remain vigilant this long weekend and report fires when possible.
“We always appreciate the public’s help.”
Fires can be reported to 1-800-663-5555 or through the BC Wildfire app.