Wildfire Poterntial in the Northeast
While the unseasonably warm weather is great for extending summer fun, the dry conditions also are making the potential for wild fires greater. The unseasonably dry weather in the Peace is making the chances for wildfires quite high. According to acting deputy fire centre manager, Thomas Reinboldt this dry summer is potentially dangerous.
"Well we've got a pretty sevre risk right now in the northeast. Most of the province is in a high risk right now, but in the northeast we've been in drought for about six or eight weeks now. So right now it doesn't look like there's rain in the future at least for the next two weeks. Yeah it'll be an extreme risk over the next two weeks."
Wildfires, like this one that happened at Cecil Lake earlier this summer, are burning across the province. According to the Wildfire Management Branch of the provincial government there are 19 active wildfires in the province. Thirteen of these fires are in the north east. However, Reinboldt says there haven't been many new fires in the past few days.
"It's been fairly sevre all summer. We haven't had a lot of starts in the last few days, just a few. There's a lot of holdover lightning. We haven't had any fresh lightning in the last week, but there are a lot of fires going right now. Some of them are in various stages of action, but so it's lucky that there haven't been too many new starts in the last week."
Lightning is one of the two most common causes of wildfires. People start most of the other wildfires. This year most of the fires are lightning related. Reinboldt says with the proper steps people can safely enjoy campfires in these dry conditions.
"The best thing to do is too use a fire pit in a provincial campground or something that has a fire ring. It you are out in the complete back country it's nice to have a fuel free area around it, like dug dowjn to the mineral soil. And if you're going to leave it the best way is to pour water on it, and then use your hands to ensure, you know, cold trailing it just to make sure it's completely cold before leaving it."
For now Reinboldt and his crew members are always working on being ready for when they get called out into the field. The newest fire they are dealing with is about 100 kilometres northeast of Fort St. John. They are already working on containing the blaze.
"It's approximately 60 hectares in size right now. So it's a fare sized fire, but we have crews on it right now. Air tankers are working on it right now, even water bombers and some helicopters."
As the dry weather continues it is important to remember to take the necessary steps to make sure any fires that are started are kept under control.