Wildfires in the Southeast Fire Centre almost right on five year average

Numerous small spot fires being attended to by firefighters; closest one east of Salmo.

FILE: Lightning over a mountainside in the interior of B.C.

FILE: Lightning over a mountainside in the interior of B.C.

The Wildfire Management Branch responded to 40 lightning-caused wildfires in the Southeast Fire Centre last weekend. The majority of these fires are small and none are threatening structures or communities.

“The nearest one [to Castlegar] is east of Salmo and it’s a spot-sized, lightning caused fire,” said Karlie Shaughnessy, fire information officer Monday, Aug. 12. “There hasn’t been a lot of activity in our region, fortunately.”

The Perry Ridge fire, west of Winlaw, grew to about 65 hectares and is now in patrol stage. It is no longer considered a fire of note.

In the most active part of the fire centre, the Columbia Fire Zone, 16 wildfires are burning. All of them are small, spot-sized fires in remote areas. The largest of these is estimated at 10 hectares and is burning east of Highway 1 in the Jumping Creek area, approximately 35 kilometres northeast of Revelstoke.

Smoke may be visible in the region today, since wind is carrying smoke north from multiple large wildfires in Idaho. The Fire Danger Rating is mainly “moderate” to “high” throughout the Southeast Fire Centre with the exception of the Cranbrook Fire Zone, which is “low” to “moderate”.

As of Monday, Aug. 12, 176 wildfires have burned 296 hectares in the Southeast Fire Centre. Of those fires, 141 were caused by lightning and the rest were caused by people. The five-year average for the number of wildfires by this time of year is 181 fires.

While there is currently no campfire ban in the Southeast Fire Centre, it is important that the public remain diligent and practise proper campfire safety. Never leave a campfire unattended and always extinguish it completely before leaving the area.

The Wildfire Management Branch appreciates the public’s help in reporting smoke or wildfires. They can call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on a cell phone to submit a report. For the latest information on fire activity, conditions and prohibitions, visit the Wildfire Management Branch website: www.bcwildfire.ca

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