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Crews contain wildfire out by Roosville

Wildfire season has started up north, but conditions moderate with high pockets in Southeast Fire Centre.

A small wildfire that broke out on Wednesday was quickly contained within a day by B.C. wildfire crews as conditions across the Southeast Fire Centre start to dry up.

The fire, a 22-hectare blaze seven kilometres east of Roosville near the Canada/U.S. border, was contained and mopped up by a crew of 18 personnel by Thursday afternoon.

The cause of the fire hasn't been determined, however, it was in a remote area that didn't threaten any structures or communities, according to Karlie Shaughnessy, a fire information officer with the Southeast Fire Centre.

"The fire was reported [Wednesday] and when crews got out there, it was in the later evening and when they returned early [Thursday], they managed to get a good handle on it," Shaughnessy said.

Wildfire season as already begun in other parts of the province, as the Prince George Fire Centre—northern B.C.—has responded to 45 new fires since April 18, 14 of which are estimated to be over 100 hectares in size.

Though conditions aren't as extreme in the Southeast Fire Centre, Shaughnessy warns that there are some hotspots.

"Most of the Southeast Fire is currently at a moderate fire danger rating with a couple pockets at high [rating]," she said. "We are seeing some weather patterns that are very similar to what we normally experience in July.

"We've had about nine fires this season and they have burned 54 hectares and all of those nine fires except for one were person-caused."

In terms of fire activity at this point of the season, the five year average is five fires that have burned 13.5 hectares, meaning that this year has been higher than the normal average.

Much of the current fire danger is coming from valley bottoms, as the snowpack on mountain peaks is guarding against any high-elevation fires.

"We've had a fairly good snowpack this season, so we do have snowpack still on the mountain peaks, so obviously that reduces the possibilities of fires starting at higher elevations, however, with the warmer, dryer conditions we're experiencing right now, it's elevating the risk in the valley bottoms," Shaughnessy added.

There are no burning restrictions in the Southeast Fire Centre, however, if any burn is larger than three metres in width and two metres in height, a burning registration number is required, which can be obtained by checking the BC Wildfire website.


Trevor Crawley

About the Author: Trevor Crawley

Trevor Crawley has been a reporter with the Cranbrook Townsman and Black Press in various roles since 2011.
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