The BC Wildfire Service is sending 18 more firefighters to bolster the eight personnel already at the scene of a fire south of Rosswood and north of Kitsumkalum Lake that was first reported yesterday.
At 20 hectares, the fire is not immediately threatening structures but wildfire service personnel did install water-based protection systems at two nearby properties in the event the fire moves closer, reports Casda Thomas from the Northwest Fire Centre in Smithers.
The wildfire service had nine people at the fire yesterday supplemented with airtankers and one helicopter.
“Firefighters are establishing hose lay in areas are that are accessible. They are receiving bucketing support from two helicopters who are bucketing on priority areas to allow access by ground crews,” said Thomas.
“An airtanker skimmer group is en route to assist today as well and will be working out of Kitsumkalum Lake.Yesterday the fire was actioned with nine personnel, airtankers and one helicopter.”
The fire location is approximately 40 kilometres north of Terrace adjacent to Hwy113 and there have been reports of ash falling to the south.
Thomas acknowledged the reports of ash falling but noted that the fire has not seen any significant growth towards structures.
“It is currently burning rank 2 in the areas of concern, which means that the fire is displaying open flame, but with minimal spread in those areas,” she said.
The wildfire service is, however, concerned with reports of a drone flying over the fire area, citing the dangers involved.
“This type of activity is extremely dangerous and poses a significant safety risk to personnel, especially when low-flying firefighting aircraft are present. All airspace around and above wildfires is restricted airspace,” said Thomas.
“The operation of any aircraft not associated with fire suppression activities (including drones and unmanned aerial vehicles) near a wildfire is illegal, including at night.”
So far, the wildfire service suspects the fire to be human-caused.
It thanked those who first reported the blaze.
Wildfires can be reported by 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on a cell phone. Fires can also be reported through a BC Wildfire Service downloadable app.