Cariboo Fire Centre reports well

AUTUMN MacDONALD

Observer Reporter

With 22 fires burning 16 hectares so far in the Cariboo Fire Centre, the 2017 season is shaping up to be far below average.

“This is well below the fire activity we had by this date last year,” fire information officer Natasha Broznitsky said.

“Forty fires had burned 535 hectares, nearly 400 of which was due to a fire in the Nazko area that started in early April of last year.

“The number of fires and hectares burned to date this year are also below the 10-year average. Between 2007 and 2016, there has been an average of 37 fires that burned 681 hectares between the dates of April 1 and May 15.

Broznitsky said precipitation and cool weather this spring have played a significant role in the below average fire season we’ve experienced so far.

“The weather conditions have not only contributed to there being less fires than in previous years, but also to the success of BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) crews in containing most fires before they grow very large in size,” she said.

“The largest fire so far this spring in the Cariboo Fire Centre grew to be 8 hectares, which is a lot smaller than what we’ve seen in other years by this point.”

However, Broznitsky warned, despite the weather trends so far this spring, it only takes a few days of warm, dry weather to decrease the moisture level in small surface fuels and allow them to ignite easily.

“With this in mind, the BCWS would like to remind everyone to take care when they’re having a campfire, especially with the long weekend coming up,” she said.

Campfire regulations include having ready access to eight litres of water or a shovel, building a fire guard around your campsite, and leaving your campfire cool to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.

To report a wildfire, open burning violation, or abandoned campfire, please call 1 800 663-5555 or *5555 on a cellphone.