Lighting Storms Spark Small Wildfires Through Northwest

John Crawford
07/09/2019

Lightning sparked at least nine new fires in the Northwest Fire Centre over the weekend -- and crews will be out today looking for more fires thanks to yesterday's series of storms.

The largest new fires reported in the region are in the Cassiar Zone;  they include a 250-hectare blaze burning in remote terrain 135 kilometres northwest of Dease Lake,  and a six-hectare fire 40 kilometres west of Atlin.

Most of the remaining new fires are under one hectare in size.

These fires include a half-hectare blaze near the Kitimat River, east of Kitimat;  a small fire 30 kilometres south of Terrace near Highway 37; a smouldering ground fire on the north side of Duckwing Lake near Witset;  and a small fire near Burnie River, west of Houston. 

The full list is in the News Release below. 
 
More lightning is expected throughout the Northwest Fire Centre today and the Wildfire Service is conducting ongoing air and ground patrols to monitor the region for new wildfire starts.

There's also smoke blanketing much of the northwest, that's drifting south from several large wildfires burning in the Yukon and Alaska.

So far this year, the Wildfire Service says the number of recorded wildfires provincewide is on par with previous years, but the number of hectares burned has dropped significantly.
    
The service also warns, however, that BC still has underlying drought conditions that could rapidly dry fuels once rainfall diminishes.

And in its seasonal outlook for July, the service the Cassiar Fire Zone, in the far northwest corner of the province --  and much of southwestern BC and Vancouver Island --  are at most risk of  above-normal fire conditions, due to warm temperatures, low rainfall, and dry fuels.

The Fire Danger Rating for the Northwest Fire Centre is currently "Low" to "Moderate" in much of the Northwest Fire Centre region, and it's "High" to "Extreme" in the Cassiar.

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=== NEWS RELEASE ===
 

For Immediate Release
2019FLNR0178-001412
July 8, 2019

 

Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
BC Wildfire Service

 

INFORMATION BULLETIN
BC Wildfire Service responds to new fires in Northwest

 

SMITHERS - Several new wildfires started in the Northwest Fire Centre over the weekend, due to lightning storms that have been moving through the region.

 

Since June 5, 2019, the BC Wildfire Service has responded to nine new fires that are suspected to be lightning-caused. Most of these fires were detected within the past 24 hours and most are smaller than one hectare.

 

Nadina Fire Zone:

 

* R20888: This fire is about 75 kilometres west of Houston near the Burnie River. It covers less than one hectare and is currently being held.

 

Bulkley Fire Zone:

 

* R30895: This fire is about four kilometres southwest of Witset on the north side of Duckwing Lake. It is a smouldering ground fire and covers less than one hectare. Crews are on-site today.

 

Skeena Fire Zone:

 

* R50878: This fire is about 30 kilometres south of Terrace and about 23 kilometres north of Kitimat, near Highway 37. It covers less than one hectare and is under control.

 

* R50882: This fire is about 3.5 kilometres northeast of Bell II. It covers less than one hectare and is under control.

 

* R50896: This fire is about 35 kilometres east of Kitimat near the Kitimat River. It covers about half a hectare and is currently classified as out of control. Crews are working on this fire.

 

Cassiar Fire Zone:

 

* R90897: This fire is about 33 kilometres southwest of Bob Quinn Lake on the west bank of the Iskut River. It covers less than one hectare and is currently classified as out of control. Crews are working on this fire, supported by aircraft.

 

* R90900: This fire is about 33 kilometres southwest of Bob Quinn Lake on the east bank of the Iskut River. It covers about half a hectare and is currently classified as out of control. Crews are working on this fire, supported by aircraft.

 

* R90894: This fire is in remote terrain about 135 kilometres northwest of Dease Lake and about 115 kilometres southeast of Atlin. It covers about 250 hectares and is currently classified as out of control. The BC Wildfire Service is monitoring this fire and devising a response plan.

 

* R90881: This fire is about 40 kilometres west of Atlin on the southwest arm of Tagish Lake. It covers about six hectares and is currently classified as out of control. The BC Wildfire Service is monitoring this fire and devising a response plan.

 

Smoke that is visible in some parts of the Cassiar Fire Zone (including the communities of Iskut, Dease Lake, Telegraph Creek and Atlin) is due to several large wildfires burning in the Yukon and Alaska.

 

More lightning is expected throughout the Northwest Fire Centre today and tomorrow, July 9. The BC Wildfire Service is conducting ongoing air and ground patrols to monitor the region for new wildfire starts.

 

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. For up-to-date information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, call 1 888 3-FOREST or visit: www.bcwildfire.ca

 

Follow the latest wildfire news:

 

* on Twitter: http://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo

 

* on Facebook: http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo

 

Contact:

Carolyn Bartos
Fire Information Officer
BC Wildfire Service
Northwest Fire Centre

 

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