This file photo shows ground crews, air support and equipment continuing to work on the Alkali Lake wildfire near Telegraph Creek, B.C., in 2018. (BC Wildfire Service photo)

Crews set up special camp as northwest B.C. fire risk soars

The B.C. Wildfire Service is setting up a 150-person camp in the Dease Lake area

Wildfire crews are arriving in northwestern B.C. as drought grips the region and the fire danger soars along with the temperature.

The B.C. Wildfire Service is setting up a 150-person camp in the Dease Lake area, not in response to any specific blaze, but because the service expects potential new wildfire activity with the parched conditions.

A statement from the service says the camp will house firefighters ready to respond to any incident, while a team that specializes in overseeing wildfire management, has also been sent to Dease Lake.

The fire danger rating is listed as high to extreme across most of the Northwest and Prince George fire centres, while large sections of the Coastal Fire Centre are also rated at a high risk for a blaze.

Wildfire service maps show the most drought-stricken area is in the extreme northwestern corner of the province, covered by the Cassiar fire zone, where a campfire ban and other open burning bans are already in effect.

Three new wildfires were sparked in that zone this week and crews also continue to work on two blazes that burned intensely last year and smouldered underground through the winter before resurfacing as hot spots in the spring.

“The Northwest Fire Centre anticipates more holdover fires associated with the 2018 Alkali Lake fire,” says the wildfire service statement, referring to the blaze that charred more than 1,200-square kilometres of bush and destroyed more than 20 homes in Telegraph Creek.

“Firefighters will work out of the Dease Lake fire camp on a rotational basis throughout the summer. This will allow for quicker response times to new fire starts,” the statement says.

An extreme fire rating is applied to conditions where the wildfire service says fires will “start easily, spread rapidly, and challenge fire suppression efforts.”

The service’s website says 235 blazes have been recorded since the fire season began on April 1, and of the 42 fires currently burning, nearly 65 per cent were caused by humans.

READ MORE: Residents in B.C.’s wildfire zone raise cash for fire-ravaged northern Alberta

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

First Nations included in latest Columbia River Treaty talks

Seventh round of negotiations between Canada and U.S. wrap up in Washington D.C.

Runners hit the streets for Special Olympics

Cranbrook RCMP teamed up with Cranbrook Safeway on Saturday, June 22, for… Continue reading

School board reports January malware attack

Email systems compromised at board office and Fernie Learning Centre, according to memo

Bowen Byram goes fourth overall in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft

The Cranbrook native was picked by the Colorado Avalanche in the NHL draft

Residents asked to leave ‘fawn in area’ signs alone

Signs are there for the protection of deer and people

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

‘Text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millennials’ skulls, researchers say

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

B.C. teen killed by fallen tree on field trip remembered as hero

13-year-old Tai Caverhill was the first to spot the tree falling and warned his friends

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Two bear cubs saved near Revelstoke after mother hit by car

Conservation officers trapped the cubs and transported them to a wildlife sanctuary

Most Read