Williams Lake Fire Department (WLFD) responded to a wildfire on Fox Mountain near Ross Road on Nov. 13.
Residents nearby called 9-1-1 after piles in a fuel management area which had been burning for a few days started showing some open flame as winds picked up and had burned some dry surface fuels in the area.
Williams Lake Fire Department’s Lieutenant Cory Boyd was the incident commander on scene and said 23 firefighters were dispatched to the fire at around 4:35 p.m. on Monday. They arrived with two fire trucks and two water tenders and saw dozens of piles on fire.
WLFD crews worked one of their trucks into the bush partway through the area of the burn, but were unable to reach the far end of the area with the large fire truck. Boyd said WLFD requested assistance from BC Wildfire Services (BCWS) but were told there were no crews available at the time.
WLFD members put water on what they could reach with their hoses and then were able to turn the fire back over to the contractor in charge of the fuel management project.
Borland Creek Logging had personnel attend the fire, working to prevent spread and maintain a fire watch while piles were still burning.
Piles were lit on Thursday in conjunction with favourable overnight conditions in order to ensure there would not be a hazard for nearby properties. Personnel had been checking the fire daily throughout the weekend.
The fuel management work is aimed at decreasing fire hazard around the community by removing surface and ladder fuels to reduce potential wildfire intensity and the ability of fire to carry through an area.
The lighting of piles has to be timed in conjunction with venting conditions as well as surface conditions to allow the fire to consume the fuels and to prevent air quality issues.
For questions regarding open burning in the area, residents can contact the Cariboo Fire Centre Information Officer at 778-799-2100 and to report wildfires, call 1800-663-5555 or *5555 on a mobile phone. Call the RAPP line or NRO at 1-877-952-7277 (or #7277) for concerns about the venting index or to report smoke pollution, or burning without a permit.
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