During the Victoria Day holiday weekend, Wildfire Management Branch crews from the Cariboo Fire Centre responded to nine new wildfires. Fire suppression efforts also continued on the Pelican Lake fire.
“Thanks to timely reports from the public and nearby aircraft, all of the new incidents on the weekend remained small and were extinguished quickly,” the CFC noted in a press release.
The largest lightning fire on the weekend covered about three hectares west of Anahim Lake. Airtankers, one helicopter and 19 firefighters responded and the fire was extinguished by Monday afternoon.
The six other lightning-caused fires were small and are all now out or in the patrol phase.
Three of them were in the Big Bar area, one was southwest of Quesnel, one was near Pelican Lake and one was near Eagle Lake.
On Saturday, an initial attack crew put out a human-caused wildfire near Highway 20 in the Chilcotin that covered about 0.1 hectares.
Also on Sunday, a second human-caused fire covered about 11 hectares northwest of Puntzi Lake. An initial attack crew and an additional 16 firefighters responded. The fire is currently in the patrol stage.
As of Monday morning, May 18, the Pelican Lake fire was 100 per cent contained and in the patrol stage.
An incident management team and two unit crews consisting of 20 firefighters each were released from the fire on Sunday.
Sixteen firefighters, one helicopter and one piece of heavy equipment remain on site. Twenty-five local contract firefighters are helping to patrol the fire over the next few days.
The Wildfire Management Branch is not expecting significant fire behaviour this week in the Cariboo Fire Centre. However, due to the weekend’s lightning activity, crews will likely be kept busy extinguishing small fires that may flare up as temperatures rise this week.
The Wildfire Management Branch thanks the public for their continued assistance in reporting smoke and wildfires. Air patrols will be sent out periodically throughout the week looking for lightning-sparked fires, but most wildfires are discovered due to reports from the public.
To report smoke, flames or an unattended open fire, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or dial *5555 on a cellphone.
For up-to-date information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: www.bcwildfire.ca or call 1 888 3-FOREST.