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

Community profiles show social determinants of health

Reports depict life in Campbell River and other Strathcona communities

‘Free Willy’ bill to end whale captivity supported by MP Blaney

Blaney says law would have died without efforts by New Democrat MPs

VIDEO: Pickup truck smashes into Campbell River home

No injuries reported in Friday morning incident

Help needed in locating concrete pump stolen from Campbell River business

The pump is considered a very high value item to the business

As sea levels rise, Campbell River considers raised buildings and roads, extended breakwaters

City planning for one-metre sea level rise by 2100 amid human-caused climate change

VIDEO: First Nations, developer call for return and protection of sacred B.C. burial site

Dozens of First Nations leaders gather on grassy plateau to call on action by provincial government

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

Teen stabbed after end-of-night limo dispute in downtown Vancouver

A young man, 19, is in serious condition following a dispute between two groups

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

LETTER: British Columbia’s forest industry crisis being made worse

Andrew Wilkinson warns of regulatory overload by John Horgan’s NDP

Convicted B.C. child abductor Randall Hopley back in custody 6 months after release

Correctional Services Canada could not provide further details due to privacy concerns

Bears have killed 17 people in B.C. since 1986

Number of bear complaints and bears killed rose sharply during same period

Most Read