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

Nanoose Bay carver goes all-in on projects

Bellis creates eight-foot totem as Christmas gift for wife

Oceanside RCMP auxiliary officer earns top honour for volunteer work

Dally presented special award by Island Commander

‘A really kind person’: Parksville’s Nick Major remembered by instructor

Outpouring of support in the days following death of young man

Qualicum Beach council talks East Village plans, traffic calming

Ideas floated for village as a pedestrian-friendly area attracting tech, digital arts industry

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

Countdown starts to 2020 BC Summer Games

Two flags unveiled at Maple Ridge city hall.

Memorial bench painted by Vancouver woman to stay in park for now

Park board to look at options for artistic enhancements on commemorative benches

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Weather Network’s anti-meat video ‘doesn’t reflect true story’: cattle ranchers

At issue is the video’s suggestion that cutting back on meat consumption could help save the planet

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

Wrestling legend finds his wedding dance groove in B.C.

Professional wrestler Chris Jericho posted on social media that he was in Penticton recently

Horgan hints at Daylight Saving Time changes after record survey response

More than 223,000 online surveys were submitted in the government’s public consultation

Coroner investigating after body recovered from Okanagan Lake

Penticton fire department assisted the RCMP with the recovery of a body Saturday

Most Read