With temperatures rising, the Southeast Fire Centre is reporting a fire danger rating of moderate to high across the whole region, with pockets of extreme fire danger.
The Southeast Fire Centre, which includes the Kootenay/Boundary area, has had 53 fires which have burnt 170 hectares so far this season, with 26 caused by lightning and 27 caused by people.
“In the Boundary area we have seen seven fires so far this season,” said Jordan Turner, fire information officer for the fire centre. “Five were caused by lightning and two were person-caused.”
Turner said there were 21 incidents this past weekend of improper or dangerous camp fires in the southeast area including unattended or abandoned camp fires.
“Campers are being urged to be extra careful,” he said. “People need to follow proper regulations such as having eight litres of water on hand and having a hand tool, such as a shovel, to properly extinguish the fire. Fires need to be cold to the touch before leaving the area.”
Turner said it’s very difficult for Southeast Fire Centre to predict the severity of each forest fire season or where fires will burn.
“Wildfire management needs public assistance to report on forest fires or unattended camp fires, or they could become an issue,” said Turner.
To report a wildfire or unattended camp fire, call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on most cellular networks.
Turner reminds people that open burning restrictions went out on July 8, which include burning of any waste/slash or other materials, stubble or grass fires of any size over any area, and the use of fireworks, sky lanterns, or burning barrels of any size or description.
“Every person-caused fire is preventable and ties up valuable resources and may prevent our crews from responding quickly to a naturally occurring fire,” said Turner.
For more information on open fire restrictions or on current wildfire conditions visit www.bcwildfire.ca.