BC Wildfire Service responded to a wildfire near Terrace’s Northwest Regional Airport on June 8 that burned approximately .1 hectares and was listed as “under control” a few hours after it was reported.
BC Wildfire Service’s Northwest Fire Centre Information Officer Morgan Blois said the fire was not expected to grow past its predetermined boundary. She added that crews were on-site on June 9, ensuring it stays contained.
“The crews on-site are trying to wrap it up and get it to the demobilization stage,” Blois said June 9. The five-person crew included initial attack members and response officers, while the original crew on-site on June 8 was a four-person initial attack crew working alongside the Thornhill Fire Department.
Blois said that a fire cause and origin crew will be investigating the cause, but it’s suspected to be human-caused.
BC Wildfire Service Wildfire Technician Richard Forget said that, while the investigation is ongoing, they don’t suspect the wildfire was caused by arson, although it does appear to be an accidental start. He said they suspect the suspects were playing with matches in the forest, adding that the RCMP is aware of the fire.
“The RCMP know about this start, but there’s no case file yet or anything,” Forget said. “We may submit something once we have our fire cause and origin done, but we don’t have any names or suspects, or any leads at this time.”
The lack of precipitation in the past few weeks has made the forest very receptive to embers and fire starts, Forget said. “Our drought code has been slowly rising since the snow melt, so the fires are starting to burn a little deeper and deeper since we’re not receiving any significant rainfall.”
Forget said that while the area has been receiving a few millimetres of rain here and there with the little cells that have been coming through lately, a little bit of wind and sun can and has been drying it up again and a few hours later, the area is once again receptive to a fire. “Looking 10 days out, it looks to be fairly hot and dry, but we might be a seeing a downturn in the weather for the last-half of June that will give us some much-needed rain,” he said.
“We’re asking everybody to remain vigilant and adhere to the rules we have in place, so no backyard burning or industrial burning right now,” Forget said. “If you have a campfire, make sure you’ve got water on-site and put it out properly.”
To put out a campfire, Forget says, make sure you have some water on-hand — in a bucket or through a hose — and spread around the wet ashes with a stick or a shove in a fire pit, to make sure it’s completely cold and out.
This year’s fire season has been a bit busier than normal, Forget said. “We’ve been, primarily, dealing with human-caused fires, since we haven’t had any lightening in the area.”
Viktor Elias joined the Terrace Standard in April 2023.