Blazes lightning and man caused

Long weekend wildfire activity keeps firefighting crews busy

  • May. 21, 2015 7:00 a.m.
The Pelican Lake Fire

The Pelican Lake Fire

Wildfire Management Branch crews from the Cariboo Fire Centre (CFC) responded to nine new wildfires over the Victoria Day long weekend.

Fire suppression efforts also continued on the Pelican Lake fire.

Thanks to timely reports from the public and nearby aircraft, all of the new incidents on the weekend remained small and were extinguished quickly, says Emily Epp, CFC fire information officer.

Spot fires

• The largest lightning fire of the weekend covered about three hectares west of Anahim Lake.

Four airtankers, one helicopter and 19 firefighters responded and the fire was extinguished by May 18.

• The six other lightning-caused fires were small and are all now out or in the patrol phase.

Three of them were in the Big Bar area. One was southwest of Quesnel; another was near Pelican Lake and a third fire was near Eagle Lake.

• On May 16, an initial attack crew put out a human-caused wildfire near Highway 20 in the Chilcotin. It covered about 0.1 hectares.

• On May 17, a second human-caused fire covered about 11 hectares northwest of Puntzi Lake.

An initial attack crew and an additional 16 firefighters responded. The fire is currently in the patrol stage.

As of May 18, the Pelican Lake Fire was 100 per cent contained and in the patrol stage.

An Incident Management Team and two unit crews (consisting of 20 firefighters each) were released

from the fire on May 17.

Sixteen Wildfire Managment Branch firefighters, one helicopter and one piece of heavy equipment remain on site. Twenty-five local contract firefighters are helping to patrol the fire over the next few days.

The Wildfire Management Branch is not expecting significant fire behaviour this week in the CCFC, Epp says.

However, she adds that due to the weekend’s lightning activity, crews will likely be kept busy extinguishing small fires that may flare up as temperatures rise this week.

“The Wildfire Management Branch thanks the public for their continued assistance in reporting smoke and wildfires. Air patrols will be sent out periodically throughout the week looking for lightning-sparked fires, but most wildfires are discovered due to reports from the public.

To report smoke, flames or an unattended open fire, call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or dial *5555 on a cell phone.

For up-to-date information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit www.bcwildfire.ca or call 1-888-3-FOREST.

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