As you can imagine, the wet weather has meant fewer forest fires in the Southeast Fire District compared with drier years. Department staff release the following update on July 29. Here in the Columbia district, we’ve had a total of five fires with only 23.588 hectares burned. Here is the full report from Southeast Fire Centre staff:
Since April 1, 2011 the Southeast Fire Centre has had a total of 30 fires, 20 of which have been person‐caused and 10 lightning‐caused. In comparison to last year at this time, the Southeast Fire Centre had a total of 117 fires, 39 of which were person‐caused and 78 were lightning‐caused.
Due to the slow start to the fire season, a total of 68 individual SEFC officers, support staff, dispatchers, and crewpersons are presently deployed out‐of‐province to assist with fires in Ontario. The deployment coupled with earlier deployments to Alberta, Alaska have provided 80 per cent of the Southeast Fire Centre staff with out‐of‐province opportunities.
The slow fire activity has allowed crews to continue working on fuels management projects throughout the Southeast Fire Centre. The primary objective with these projects is to manage forest fuels in and around communities in order to reduce the potential for devastating wildfires. By reducing fuels in areas where forest meets community development (referred to as wildland urban interface), fires will pose less of a threat to residents and will be safer for firefighting crews.
The Southeast Fire Centre wants to remind the public to be extra careful with campfires this long weekend. All campfires must be a half‐meter wide by a halfmeter high or smaller. People lighting a campfire must maintain a fireguard by removing flammable debris from the campfire area and must have at least eight liters of water or a shovel nearby to properly extinguish the fire. Before leaving an area, always ensure your campfire is completely out and the ashes are cool.
With the exception of campfires, it is a reminder that all open fires (including fireworks and burning barrels) are prohibited within the Southeast Fire Centre. Where ever local government bylaws are in place, they take precedent. Please check with your regional district, local municipality or fire department to ensure there are no burning bylaws in place before lighting a fire.
Southeast Fire Centre
Zone Total Fires Total Hectares
Cranbrook: 8 Fires, 1.344 ha
Invermere 7 Fires; 2.627 ha
Columbia 5 Fires: 23.588 ha
Arrow 3 Fires; 0.027 ha
Boundary 3 Fires; 0.027 ha
Kootenay Lake 4 Fires; 0.618 ha
For the latest information on fire activity, bans and restrictions, and current fire weather conditions, please visit the Wildfire Management Branch website at: www.bcwildfire.ca. For Facebook and Twitter updates, as well as details about evacuation orders and alerts, road conditions, and air quality advisories, please visit: www.bcforestfireinfo.gov.bc.ca.