Cariboo Fire Centre Initial Attack Crew’s Smokey the Bear

Cariboo Fire Centre Initial Attack Crew’s Smokey the Bear

Wildfire season heats up in the Cariboo Chilcotin

Cariboo Fire Centre conducted patrols in the region on the weekend, looking for possible lightning-strike holdovers and other smokes.

  • Jul. 3, 2013 7:00 p.m.

Wildfire Management Branch aircraft based at the Cariboo Fire Centre in Williams Lake were doing patrols in the region on the Canada Day weekend, looking for possible lightning-strike holdovers and other smokes.

Two wildfires were spotted on Monday, July 1 by these patrols, both in the Chilcotin.

The first wildfire, reported at about 3:30 p.m., was approximately 10 kilometres south of Nazko Lake. An Initial Attack (IA) crew from the CFC’s Puntzi base attended via helicopter, and found the wildfire to be on private land and involving a structure, some sort of trailer.

The fire did not spread because the area was surrounded by roads. Local RCMP also attended. As of Tuesday, July 2, the fire was turned over to the landowner. The second wildfire, reported at about 4 p.m., was approximately eight kilometres south of Scum Lake, burning in slash adjacent to an active logging site/plantation.

Two IA crews, one from Puntzi and one from Williams Lake, attended and an airtanker actioned the fire with retardant.

It was estimated in size at about two hectares.

The IA crew from Williams Lake and the Ravens Unit crew from Alexis Creek returned to the site Tuesday, July 2 to perform mop-up duties.

Both of these wildfires were person-caused and are currently under investigation. So far this season, the Chilcotin has seen 26 person-caused fires and one lightning-caused fire.

There were also two lightning-caused wildfires on Monday, July 1, both reported by the public.

The first fire, reported at about 7:30 p.m., was on the shore of Bootjack Lake near Mount Polley.

It was a single tree and was not spreading or threatening any values. An IA crew returned Tuesday via helicopter and IA truck for mop-up.

This wildfire was the first of any type this season in the CFC’s Horsefly/Likely region.

The second fire, reported at about 8:30 p.m., was on the west side of Dragon Mountain near Quesnel. The caller reported white smoke, but no flames. The CFC’s Quesnel-based response officer attended July 2, but could not find anything.

WMB aircraft from the CFC will be patrolling for holdovers, concentrating on the CFC’s northeast region (Horsefly/Likely/Quesnel Lake/Cariboo Lake/Bowron Lake areas), where there were hundreds, if not thousands, of lightning strikes throughout the long weekend.

Throughout B.C. on Monday, July 1, there were approximately 20,000 lightning strikes.

There have been a total of five new lightning-caused wildfires since Tuesday, four in the Quesnel/Barkerville/Cariboo Mountains area and one near Likely.

There have been a total of 57 wildfires in the CFC so far this season, 43 person-caused and 14 lightning-caused, burning 1,068 hectares.

The CFC would like to remind the public that there has been an open burning prohibition in place since April 15 banning any waste, slash or grass fires.

The CFC would also like to remind the public to be vigilant with any type of fire use, including campfires.

To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on your cellphone. For more information on open fire restrictions or for updates on current wildfire activity, visit