Seven new wildfires started over weekend

Seven new small fires required fire crew response in the Cariboo over the weekend.

Seven new small fires required fire crew response in the Cariboo over the weekend.

“These ones are mostly concentrated west of Alexis Creek and the northwest portion of our region,” Cariboo Fire Centre information officer Jenny Fremlin said Monday.

“Thanks to fast initial attacks by crews and aircraft all of these new fires have remained small, with the largest being one hectare in size. Three of the new fires have been fully extinguished and crews will continue suppression efforts on remaining fires today.”

Lightning storms occurred in the areas affected and it is suspected that all but one of the new fires were sparked by lightning.

Most of the fires are in remote areas.

In anticipation of new fire starts because of forecasted hotter weather and the chance of thunder storms, 21 firefighters and one agency representative arrived at the Williams Lake airport from Yukon at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

“Other resources are being brought in for any new starts we might have and to provide rest for crews that are in need of it at this time,” Fremlin said, adding three three-person initial attack crews presently remain in the Cariboo region — all others have been deployed to areas with higher fire activity.

Friday afternoon the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations sent out a press release announcing a total of 79 firefighting personnel would be coming to B.C. from Yukon, Saskatchewan and Ontario.

Aside from Williams Lake, crews arrived in Kamloops and Surrey.

Fremlin continues to urge people to remain vigilant with fire use and to be careful in the outdoors.

“Human-caused fires can divert resources away from naturally occurring ones.”

Campfires must be kept to half a metre by half a metre in size, and as of yet, a campfire ban has not been imposed in the Cariboo region at this time.

“It’s been status quo since April 2,” Fremlin said.

The Fire Danger Rating for the province is mostly “high,” with some areas of “moderate” and many patches of “extreme.”

“While out enjoying the backcountry this weekend, make sure you respect local campfire bans,”  says Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson. “In areas where campfires are allowed, never leave it unattended. Keep water and hand tools nearby in case you need to put the fire out quickly. Also make sure the fire is completely extinguished and cold to the touch before you leave the area.”

Throughout the province, anyone found in violation of an open fire ban, including campfires, may be issued a ticket for up to $345.

Report smoke or flames by calling 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.

For the latest information on fire activity, conditions and prohibitions in B.C., visit www.bcwildfire.ca.