By CECILE FAVRON
With the May long weekend in the near past and camping season well underway, the Northwest Fire Region has been exposed to a new and preventable threat: abandoned campfires.
Over just two days of the long weekend, May 17-18, fire wardens for the BC Fire Centre found seven abandoned fires endangering the campground, said spokesperson Olivia Pojar.
Failure to put a campfire out is a leading cause of wildfires in this region.
There have been two new fires as of last week in the Northwest Region which spans from the Yukon along the coast and then to Endako and Tweesner Park.
The only fire that was still burning as of last Friday was the sizable Inklin River Fire 90 kilometres southeast of Atlin.
The fire had gown to 250 hectares in size and was a result of the thunderstorms that rolled across the region.
There were also four fires in the northwest region in “patrol” status, meaning that crews are checking back for hangover fires hidden in a tree’s root system or under the soil.
So far this year there have been 18 fires in the Northwest region and a total of 261 hectares burned.
Twelve of these fires have been human caused and six have been lightning caused.
All four of the Northwest Fire Centre’s unit crews, the largest firefighting units in the region, have been called out to help the Prince George Fire Centre battle the Little Bobtail Lake fire.
They will be called back if a major fire starts within the Northwest Region.
There are currently eight initial attack crews still in the region to respond quickly if another fire does start here.
The northern section of the Northwest Fire Region has been put on high alert with a fire danger rating of moderate to high and forecast thunderstorms as the heat continues.
To report a fire or suspicious activity, call *5555 on your cell phone or 1-800-663-5555.