High fire risk endangers Terrace and area

All six wildfires in the area were ignited by people – keep eye on campfires and even ATV and dirt bike exhaust systems

  • Jun. 15, 2015 6:00 p.m.

The high fire danger in the area has led the Wildfire Management Branch to urge the public in Terrace, Kitimat and surrounding areas to use caution when participating in recreational activities in the backcountry or using any open flame.

The fire danger rating in the Skeena Fire Zone currently ranges from “moderate” to “extreme”. A fire danger rating of “high” or “extreme” indicates that forest fuels are very dry and the fire risk is serious.

New wildfires will start easily, spread rapidly and challenge suppression efforts.

Since the beginning of May, all six wildfires in the Skeena Fire Zone (encompassing Terrace, Kitimat, the Nass Valley and surrounding areas) have been human-caused.

These preventable wildfires serve as reminders that campfires, open fires, recreational activities and equipment use can easily spark a wildfire.

Although the weather forecast for the Skeena Fire Zone indicates scattered showers and cooler temperatures, these conditions may not be sufficient to significantly lower the fire danger rating.

Forest fuels require sustained precipitation to regain moisture, and a return to warm and dry conditions could rapidly increase the wildfire risk.

Before lighting a campfire, you must have a shovel or at least eight litres of water nearby to extinguish the fire.

A campfire is an open fire smaller than 0.5 metres wide by 0.5 metres high.

Recreationalists must ensure that campfires are completely out and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.

Larger “party fires” can easily get out of control and a person present at such a fire may be held liable for wildfire suppression costs.

Anyone riding an all-terrain vehicle or dirt bike should check the condition of the muffler, stay on dirt paths and avoid tall grasses and weeds. An approved spark arrester should be used on the exhaust system.

For the latest information on current wildfire activity or burning restrictions, visit www.bcwildfire.ca or call 1 888 3-FOREST.

To report smoke, flames, unattended campfires or non-compliant open burning, call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or dial *5555 on a cellphone.

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