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

Chemainus sea walk plans get a boost

North Cowichan to sign right-of-way agreements with VIHA

Local beekeeper wants residents to use pesticides more responsibly

Paula Masyk has kept bees for a little over two months, and has had two pesticide events since then

Sizzling season starts with Summer Fest celebrations in Chemainus

Rotary Club event features plenty of food, entertainment and a parade

Memorial Midget C Hockey Tournament supports Puska

Ladysmith man in need of a kidney transplant receiving abundant financial contributions

VIDEO: Sexting teens at risk of depression and substance abuse, Canadian study says

Use of alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana were also found to be associated with sexting

UPDATE: Two-year-old involved in Chilliwack pool drowning has died

Toddler was reported to not be breathing as air ambulance called out Thursday afternoon

Police make arrest after report of a man brandishing a gun at Campbell River-area lake

43-year-old man from the Comox area has since been charged with multiple offences

B.C. high school withdraws notices for temporary dress code

Parents previously told the Interior News they felt there was inadequate consultation over the rules

VIDEO: Toronto Raptors announcer credited with calming crowds after shooting

Matt Devlin, the Raptors’ play-by-play announcer since 2008, was praised for preventing panic from spreading

Mini-horse visits residents at Lower Mainland care home

Gunner turned a visit with grandpa into a major event for everyone at the residence

Women sue former Vancouver cop over alleged sexual abuse during pimp case

Two women claim James Fisher caused psychological trauma during the Reza Moazami investigation

First ever Indigenous person to join the RCMP to be honoured in B.C.

Hawk Kelly said becoming a Mountie was his dream job as a kid

Deadline for cabinet to decide future of Trans Mountain expansion is today

International Trade Minister Jim Carr described the decision as ‘very significant’

Most Read