A two-hectare fire is burning between Canim Lake and Hawkins Lake. (Photo submitted).

Homeowners urged to be cautious with outdoor burning

Multiple fires, tinder-dry conditions good reminders to be vigilant.

Firefighters are reminding South Cariboo homeowners to be cautious with outdoor burning following multiple fires over the past week.

Over the weekend, firefighters were called out to four fires near 100 Mile sewage treatment plant on Canim-Hendrix Road, and a five-hectare blaze on Resort Road between Canim and Hawkins lakes. Late last week, the Forest Grove volunteer fire department responded to two back-to-back fires that got away from homeowners, while the 108 Mile Ranch volunteer fire department was also called out to assist another fire at 105 Mile. There were also three fires in the Clinton area Tuesday.

While some of the fires are still under investigation, most are suspected to be human-caused.

Shannon Wagner, chief of the Forest Grove Volunteer Fire Department, urged homeowners to have a permit and check the venting index before burning after two back-to-back fires got away from residents in her area last Thursday. Homeowners should also have a pail of sand, shovel, rake and access to a good flow of water from an outdoor tap nearby. Despite the snow on the ground, Wagner noted the heavy grasses and the trees are “deceptive.”

“It’s sopping wet underneath but in the trees and grass, it’s tinder dry,” Wagner said. “If that grass catches and ends up candling in the trees we’re going south pretty quick.”

In one of the cases in Forest Grove Thursday, the fire had spread to some trees on the ground and could have gone “really bad” if the wind had picked up, she said. Sand would have helped to snuff it out quickly.

Meanwhile, 14 members of the BC Wildfire Service were called in to help battle the fire on the Resort Road, after it grew from two hectares to five hectares within a couple of hours Saturday.

Black smoke from that fire, initially fought by the Canim Lake Band Volunteer Fire Department and Hawkins Lake Volunteer Firefighter Association, could be seen as far away as Forest Grove. It had been contained by Monday morning.

However, the situation prompted Cariboo Regional District Chair Margo Wagner to call for a fire ban to make people more aware of the tinder-dry conditions across the region. She noted even a Category 3 ban would make people “more aware to be really careful.”

Although the BC Wildfire Service told her it doesn’t typically deal with grass fires, which are the bulk of the fires that are happening in the South Cariboo, it is keeping tabs on the situation. “They’re keeping a really close eye on it,” she said.

The CRD chair added part of the problem is a lot of new people are moving into the area from other parts of B.C. and may not realize they should not be burning at this time. “It’s going to be a learning curve,” she said.

The multiple fires are leading to more vigilance across the community. On Tuesday, firefighters responded to another fire in Forest Grove, but it turned out to be a false alarm. The property owner was burning wood that was producing large quantities of smoke, making the fire look worse than it was, 100 Mile Fire Rescue Chief Roger Hollander said.

He noted the man was in possession of a proper permit for the activity. 100 Mile Fire Rescue has already responded to well over 100 calls so far this year, he added, so they take every report seriously.

Hollander reminds the community to be vigilant when burning and have the proper permits for their fire, whether it’s a campfire or slash pile.

In Clinton, five BC Wildfire personnel and a water tender were on scene Tuesday to battle a 0.1-hectare fire north of town, which is now believed to be under control. It is suspected to be a human-caused fire, but it is under investigation. A fire north of Clinton was out by the time firefighters arrived while the Clinton Volunteer Fire Department dealt with a fire south of town.

Forest Grove chief Wagner urged people to be alert if a fire looks to be getting out of hand. “Do not hesitate. The minute you think it’s out of control, call 911,” she said.

This story has been updated to include details of the Clinton fires.



patrick.davies@100milefreepress.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

100 Mile House

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Cariboo Regional District. (Angie Mindus photo)
Telus tower proposed for Horse Lake Road

CRD will consider a proposal for wireless telecommunications facility.

(Kamloops This Week file photo)
Probe into TNRD spending taken over by federal police unit

Financial Integrity Sensitive Investigations Unit is now reviewing the case

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Stolen truck found broken down on Highway 97C, Williams Lake suspect arrested near Ashcroft

A security guard first noticed the truck, and thought it looked suspicious

Janet Wright, 82. has been skiing since she was in her 20s and has regularly skied 50 km a day at least once each winter just to prove she can. (Photo submitted)
Nordic skiers track record year, personal bests

Oban Chambers, 9, and Janet Wright, 82, clocked the most miles these season

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Victoria police photo of suspected cat thief was just a woman with her own cat

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis S. St-Laurent sails past a iceberg in Lancaster Sound, Friday, July 11, 2008. The federal government is expected to end nearly two years of mystery today and reveal its plan to build a new, long overdue heavy icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver, Quebec shipyards to each get new heavy icebreaker, cost remains a mystery

Vancouver’s Seaspan Shipyards and Quebec-based Chantier Davie will each build an icebreaker for the coast guard

Findings indicate a culture of racism, misogyny and bullying has gripped the game with 64 per cent of people involved saying players bully others outside of the rink. (Pixabay)
Misogyny, racism and bullying prevalent across Canadian youth hockey, survey finds

56% of youth hockey players and coaches say disrespect to women is a problem in Canada’s sport

People line up outside an immunization clinic to get their Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Hospital investigating whether Alberta woman who died after AstraZeneca shot was turned away

Woman was taken off life support 12 days after getting vaccine

People line up for COVID-19 vaccination at a drop-in clinic at Cloverdale Recreation Centre on Wednesday, April 27, 2021. Public health officials have focused efforts on the Fraser Health region. (Aaron Hinks/Peace Arch News)
B.C. reports first vaccine-induced blood clot; 684 new COVID cases Thursday

Two million vaccine doses reached, hospital cases down

Allayah Yoli Thomas had recently turned 12 years old when she died of a suspected drug overdose April 15. (Courtesy of Adriana Londono)
Suspected overdose death of Vancouver Island 12 year old speaks to lack of supports

Allayah Yoli Thomas was found dead by her friend the morning of April 15

More than 6,000 camping reservations in British Columbia were cancelled as a result of a provincial order limiting travel between health regions. (Unsplash)
1 in 4 camping reservations cancelled in B.C. amid COVID-19 travel restrictions

More than 6,500 BC Parks campsite reservations for between April 19 and May 25 have been revoked

Most Read