Cariboo Fire Centre information officer Jessica Mack said there are been 261 people deployed to other areas outside of the region to assist with fires this season. Angie Mindus photo

Cariboo Fire Centre has no wildfires presently, 261 firefighters deployed elsewhere

To date there have been 45 wildfires in the CFC, burning a total of 189 hectares

So far the wildfire season in the Cariboo has been calm.

When asked, Cariboo Fire Centre information office Jessica Mack said it has been less stressful than it was during the previous two years for sure.

Presently there are no wildfires in the CFC and to date, Mack confirmed, there have been 45 wildfires that burned 189 hectares. Of those 29 were person-caused and 16 were lightning caused.

Read more: Local residents action small wildfire near Tatlayoko Lake Wednesday

In 2018, there were 108 wildfires, 463 hectares burned by July 29 and in 2017, 213 wildfires burning 325,000 hectares.

When asked what firefighters from the Cariboo Fire Centre have been doing this season, Mack said 261 people were deployed from the Cariboo to both inside and outside of the province.

“They’ve gone to the Yukon, Ontario and Alberta and that includes unit crews, initial attack and single resources. Some of the unit crews have been on multiple deployments,” she said.

Crews have also been working on fire mitigation for a number of various projects.

Projects range from chainsaw training, assisting parks with clearing some trails and adjacent danger tree assessments, to the removal of trees from recreation sites and fuel mitigation along the road to the Williams Lake Airport and on Fox Mountain to remove fuel and reduce wildfire risks.

“We have five strategic wildfire prevention initiative projects, four community resiliency investment projects and 15 approved and ongoing Forest Enhancement Society (FES) projects and there was another 28 FES projects approved this year,” Mack said.

Costs for firefighting are down in the province.

B.C. Wildfire information officer Ericka Berg told Black Press last week, to date $76.6 million to date which is a 35 per cent decrease from 2018.

On Monday, July 29, a category 2 fire ban went into effect for the entire CFC and will remain in place until Sept. 27, 2019 or until the public is otherwise notified.

The prohibition comes to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety and is being implemented due to increased fire danger ratings caused by a warming trend throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre.

Campfires that are a half-metre wide or smaller are not banned as well as cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.

Larger Category 3 open fires remain prohibited in the CFC and have been since April 15, 2019.

Read more: Category 2 open fire ban goes into effect for Cariboo Fire Centre July 29

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