Anahim Lake update:
On Thursday, an air tanker was used during the initial attack stage and the fire was out by the time the Wildfire Management Branch initial attack ground crew arrived on site.
As of today (Friday), it is in patrol stage and the size has been re-estimated at less than half a hectare.
Choelquoit Lake update:
The two unit crews on site were released at the end of the day Thursday, and the fire is entering mop-up and patrol stage. The Ravens UC from Alexis Creek will return today (Friday).
The Cariboo Fire Centre is reminding the public to be safe with fire use on the weekend – especially in the Chilcotin where dry, volatile wildfire conditions exist – and that there is an open burning prohibition in effect for the entire Cariboo Fire Centre. The prohibition bans all backyard and industrial burning, including waste, slash, stubble and grass.
Campfires are still permitted, but they must be kept under a half-metre by half-metre in size. Cook stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes are also OK.
Anyone found in contravention of the prohibition may be issued a ticket for $345 or, if convicted in court, be fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person may be subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 and be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
Eight warning and violation tickets have already issued.
A new small wildfire has started near Anahim Lake as the fire danger rating in the Cariboo Fire Centre region moves from low to moderate, with areas of the Chilcotin rated as high.
The fire is located approximately two kilometres east of Anahim Lake.
“The wildfire is burning grass and other ground fuels in a meadow/pasture,” said fire information centre officer Greig Bethel Thursday afternoon. Local RCMP and the Ulkatcho band/reserve pumper truck responded first. The estimated size of the fire is less than one hectare.
An initial Wildfire Management Branch crew is en route to the site and a helicopter is standing by.
Bethel said all 41 wildfires in the Cariboo Fire Centre so far this season have been person-caused, and therefore preventable.
“The 10-year average for person-caused fires is 33 per cent.”
A 157 hectare sized wildfire on the north side of Choelquoit Lake, also in the Chilcotin, is now moving toward mop-up stage.
“There were WMB staff from two unit crews on site Wednesday, only one will be there by Friday, Bethel said. “The fire was first reported last weekend. Air tankers were used during the initial attack stage and in support mode.”
It is also important to note that 23 of the 41 wildfires we have responded to have taken place in the Chilcotin, he added.
There is only one current fire of note in the province, at Spatsum Creek near Ashcroft in the Kamloops Fire Centre.