Boundary fires under control

The largest fire burning is the Gibbs Creek fire north of Grand Forks, at 18.5 hectares.

The sound of helicopters and other aircraft have become much more common lately in the Boundary skies.

There are no fires of concern in the Boundary region thanks to immediate responses from the BC Wildfire Service in the last two weeks.

The largest fire burning is the Gibbs Creek fire north of Grand Forks, at 18.5 hectares. The fire is in “expanded attack” but is not threatening any structures, confirmed Southeast Fire Centre fire information officer Fanny Bernard.

“Expanded attack means a fire has gone beyond initial attack capacity so there’s additional resources on it,” Bernard explained.

The Rhone fire (7 hectares) in the West Boundary is in the mop-up stage, as is the Christina Lake Southwest fire (6.8 hectares).

There are two fires at Sandner Creek: one is in patrol (perimeter has been secured, crews patrolling for hot spots), one is in mop-up.

The Eholt and Ingram Creek fires are out, Bernard said.

BC Wildifre Service’s chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek said in a teleconference call Monday that the recent precipitation has definitely helped the wildifre situation, but he would not say the worst is over.

“There are some areas of the province that didn’t necessarily get a lot of rain over the weekend,” he said. “We expect a ridge of high pressure to build over B.C.”

In many areas, temperatures are expected to climb back into the high 20s, low 30s.

Skrepnek said as of Monday, there were 166 active wildfires. Of those, 121 were lightning caused, and the remaining either person caused or under investigation.

There have been 1,340 fires since April 1, which have burned an estimated 290,000 hectares at an estimated cost of $157 million.

In 2014 during this same time period, there were 710 fires which burned an estimated 189,000 hectares at a cost of $95 million.

Using the 10-year average, this same time period logs 833 fires burning 45,000 hectares.

“We still want people to be cautious. The current weather forecast is for a swift return of hot and dry conditions,” Skrepnek said.

Although the campfire ban was lifted in some parts of B.C., the ban remains in effect in the Southeast Fire Centre region.

Bernard, too, stressed that the fire ban is still on. “There’s no plans to take the campfire ban off at this point.”

For further information, go to bcwildfire.ca, or visit the BC Forest Fire Info Facebook page.