The BC Wildfire Service has raised the fire danger rating to “extreme” for Terrace and region as of June 12, amid growing concerns over extremely dry forest conditions and heightened fire risk.
The “extreme” rating signifies that forest fuels are exceptionally dry and there is an intense risk of new fires igniting easily, spreading swiftly and becoming increasingly difficult for suppression efforts, according to the BC Wildfire Service.
When the wildfire threat is severe, it can challenge even the most organized fire mitigation strategies.
The elevated rating could potentially lead to further restrictions on general forest activities, such as industrial activities and campfires, according to the BC Wildfire Service.
Currently, there are bans on Category 2 and Category 3 fires in the Skeena and Bulkley zones, which include Terrace, Kitimat, Prince Rupert, Smithers, Telkwa and Hazelton, respectively.
Categories 2 and 3 include large open fires that burn material in one or more piles not exceeding two metres in height and three metres in width. It also includes burning stubble or grass.
Campfires have already been banned in the Nadina Zone, which includes Burns Lake and Houston, wherein an extreme danger rating has been in place for several weeks.
Fireworks, sky lanterns, burn barrels and air curtain burners are also be prohibited in all public and private land across B.C.
In its latest statistics release, the provincial government indicates 61 per cent of 2023 fires in B.C. have been human-caused.
With files from Thom Barker
Viktor Elias joined the Terrace Standard in April 2023.