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BC Wildfire Service extinguishes human-caused fire near Terrace

The fire originated approximately 100 metres east of Kitsumkalum Lake
BC Wildfire Service extinguished a human-caused fire in Rosswood, just northwest of Terrace, on May 29. In this photo, a wildfire, south of Rosswood, as it looked from the air on August 10, 2022. (BC Wildfire Service photo)

The BC Wildfire Service confirmed a wildfire first located in Rosswood, located just northwest of Terrace, on May 28 was most likely sparked by human activity. The government agency indicates the fire was declared out on May 30.

BC Wildfire Service managed to contain the fire, preventing it from causing any substantial harm or spread. Morgan Blois, a spokesperson for the agency, said it was tackled by five firefighters on-site and the suppression efforts were direct.

According to the BC Wildfire Service’s website, the fire originated approximately 100 metres east of Kitsumkalum Lake. Despite initial concerns, the agency has reported that the fire’s size was less than a hectare.

Blois said that the region was trending above average in terms of wildfires. It’s been extremely dry, with changes in the weather pattern, including precipitation and temperatures, that are more conducive of wildifres.

In response to the growing wildfire threat, BC Wildfire Service expanded its existing open fire ban on May 18.

Initially covering the Bulkley and Nadina Fire Zones, the prohibition now extends to the Skeena Fire Zone and the Cassiar Fire Zone.

Under the terms of the ban, Category 2 open fires and Category 3 open fires are prohibited.

READ MORE: High temperatures in B.C. pose ‘threat of new wildfires,’ wildfire service warns

These include piles of material over two metres high and three metres wide, concurrently burning piles of this size, and stubble or grass burning over an area exceeding 0.2 hectares for Category 2, and larger dimensions for Category 3. Fireworks, firecrackers, and sky lanterns are also prohibited under the ban.

The ban does not extend to campfires measuring a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller, nor to cooking stoves that use gas, propane, or briquettes. It applies to all B.C. parks, Crown lands, and private lands, unless specified otherwise in a local government bylaw.

The majority of wildfires are caused by humans, the BC Wildfire Service says.

The BC Wildfire Service emphasizes that “human-caused wildfires are completely preventable and divert critical resources away from lightning-caused fires.” They urge the public to practice responsible fire use where permitted. Violations of the open-burning prohibition may lead to significant fines, penalties, or jail time, with additional costs if the contravention contributes to a wildfire.

The northwest has been experiencing exceptionally dry conditions over the past three weeks, coupled with record-breaking temperatures due to a persistent high-pressure system. This weather pattern has also led to river flooding and subsequent evacuation orders and alerts and states of local emergency in numerous areas.

BC Wildfire Service encourages anyone witnessing a wildfire, unattended campfire, or open burning violation to report it immediately by calling 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cell phone in B.C.

Viktor Elias joined the Terrace Standard in April 2023.

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