LIGHTNING SPARKED seven new fires in the region and 12 campfires were abandoned during the weekend, report the Northwest Fire Centre today, Aug. 20.
More lightning is expected this afternoon, which could potentially start additional fires, the centre said in a press release.
Campers are urged to be extra cautious since forest fuels are dry and campfires that get out of hand can become large wildfires, said the release.
Smoke from two large wildfires that began last week continues to be visible to communities near by, said the centre.
The fire near Boya Lake, estimated at 3,500 hectares, is visible to the community of Good Hope Lake, reported the centre.
A change of wind direction today may increase the amount of smoke visible on Highway 37 and near the community.
Currently, 20 firefighters are continuing work containing the west and south flanks of the fire, while the northeast section of the fire continues to expand.
The second fire, which is burning near Morice Lake and Atna Lake, is visible to many communities along Highway 16 during the heat of the day.
It is currently estimated at 1,200 hectares and is burning within a park.
Two cabins in the area have been protected with structure protection units.
These two large fires are “modified response” fires, which take into account that fire is a natural part of the forest’s life cycle.
Fire returns nutrients to the soil, resulting in new growth and the creation of habitat that is preferred by some wildlife.
Fire also helps remove the build-up of fuels and creates a natural firebreak that will make it easier to deal with future fires.
Patrols to search for new fires will take place in the region today and tomorrow, the release continues.
To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, please call *5555 on your cell phone or call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free.
For the latest information on fire activity, conditions and prohibitions, visit the Wildfire Management Branch website: www.bcwildfire.ca. You can also follow the latest wildfire news on Twitter at http://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo or on Facebook at http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo.