Airtankers used to fight Horsefly Lake fire

The Cariboo Fire Centre has responded to 18 wildfires since last Thursday, July 2.

  • Jul. 7, 2015 4:00 p.m.

The Cariboo Fire Centre has responded to 18 wildfires since last Thursday, July 2.

All but one of these have been caused by lightning.

Three of these wildfires were discovered Monday and the remainder of the incidents from the weekend are either out or in patrol.

The largest of the three active fires is two hectares in size on the southeastern side of Horsefly Lake. Airtankers surrounded the fire with retardant to support ground crews.

Fifteen firefighters and two helicopters are also working on the fire.

The cause of this fire is under investigation.

The other two wildfires were small lightning-caused fires.

One, located east of the 108 Mile Airport, is now out.

The other is near Lone Butte, is half a hectare in size and is 100 per cent contained with 13 firefighters on scene.

The Interlakes Volunteer Fire Department is assisting crews on the Lone Butte wildfire.

A province-wide ban on all open burning came into effect Friday, July 3 at noon to prevent human-caused fires and protect public safety.

Over the weekend, the Conservation Officer Service conducted patrols on behalf of the Cariboo Fire Centre checking 72 campsites.

They found six campfires, which resulted in one warning ticket and verbal requests for compliance.

A “light-handed” approach was used this weekend in the Cariboo since the prohibition came into effect on Friday and people may have not been aware of the campfire ban. However, these patrols will be ongoing throughout the summer and the campfire ban will be fully enforced.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations issued a press release stating due to elevated wildfire activity in B.C., 70 personnel will be arriving from Ontario to assist firefighting efforts.

Sixty-three sustained-action firefighters and seven other specialized personnel from Ontario will be stationed in Abbotsford and Cranbrook.

They will be deployed throughout the Coastal Fire Centre and Southeast Fire Centre based on current fire activity and projected need.

In addition, two amphibious skimming aircraft, one birddog aircraft and an air attack officer from Ontario arrived in Kamloops Tuesday.

The BC Wildfire Service cannot stress enough that the public is our first line of defence against forest fires.

Human-caused wildfires divert critical resources away from naturally-occurring fires and they are completely preventable, the BCWS said.

With this in mind,  Please be diligent when in the backcountry and report all wildfires to 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on your mobile phone.