Tourist Spot

Man-made wildfire in an ancient forest – Prince George Citizen


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Firefighting crews bring the Chilako blaze and Cutoff Creek blaze under control amid multiple wildfires in the jurisdiction of the Prince George Fire Center

Lightning from the storm that hit the city early Saturday morning sparked at least five new wildfires between Prince George and McBride, while humans are believed to have caused at least four more fires in the same neighborhood.

One of those fires was discovered on Sunday morning along Highway 16 west of the old-growth forest / Chun T’oh Whudujut Provincial Park parking lot, 120 kilometers east of Prince George.

“There’s a team on it right now and it’s sort of held at 0.2 acre,” said Sharon Nickel, communications specialist for the Prince George Fire Center. “It is suspected to be of human origin.”

The blaze is relatively small, but Nickel said due to its proximity to Highway 16 and being in a high-profile area on the edge of North America’s only interior rainforest , it has the potential to threaten hikers in the popular tourist area. the attraction and the BC Wildfire Service responded immediately.

Another small fire east of town in West Twin caused by Saturday’s storm was listed at two-tenths of an acre, with smaller fires in the Prince George-McBride Corridor at Walker Creek, Kidd, Torpy River , Sinclair Mills and Dodd Creek. A new fire at Skugg Mountain, south of Mackenzie, also broke out on Saturday.

The Cutoff Creek fire near the Kenney Dam, approximately 60 kilometers south of Vanderhoof, remains the largest in the Prince George area at 9,500 ha. For perspective, one hectare equals 10,000 square meters, or about two and a half acres.

Fifty-five firefighters were assigned to the province’s effort to contain the blaze, which was concentrated on its southern flank. They have four helicopters spilling buckets of water and 18 pieces of heavy equipment to set up fire guards and assist in backfire operations.[province’sefforttocontaintheblazefocusedonitssouthernflankTheyhavefourhelicoptersdumpingbucketsofwaterand18piecesofheavyequipmenttosetupfireguardsandassistwithburn-backoperations[province’sefforttocontaintheblazefocusedonitssouthernflankTheyhavefourhelicoptersdumpingbucketsofwaterand18piecesofheavyequipmenttosetupfireguardsandassistwithburn-backoperations

“They have air support coming in today for the building of the guards and the burning operations and they also have a structural protection unit to work in the area,” Nickel said. “Fifteen people are in the structural protection unit, so there are three crews. They’re the ones who put sprinklers on structures, that sort of thing, just to protect any kind of infrastructure or structure. “

An evacuation order for the Rose Lake area, near Highway 16 between Houston and Burns Lake, was canceled Sunday morning, but an evacuation alert remains in place, stretching 10 km west from Rose Lake on both sides of the highway to include Bulkley Lake. The teams were able to contain the 250 ha fire within established perimeters.

Southwest of Houston, the Nutli Lake fire covers 810 ha of forest, while the Poplar Mountain fire reached 130 ha. Both were caused by lightning and discovered on July 7.

Firefighting crews continued to be successful in limiting the spread of the Chilako fire, 60 km south of Fraser Lake. It remained at approximately 1,451 ha, with 49 firefighters, a helicopter and eight pieces of heavy equipment involved.

“The Chilako fire is being sustained with the resources currently deployed at this site,” Nickel said. “Spread outside of what has already been burned and the perimeter and lines they have established is unlikely. They set up some good control lines on this and were able to clean out the pockets of unburnt fuel on this fire and they were able to install those control lines. “

Two lightning-caused fires west of Lake Williston continue to escalate. Discovered on July 1, the Mount Porter fire is estimated at 6,345 ha and prompted an evacuation alert issued by the Bulkley-Nechako Regional District for an area northwest of Germundson Landing and southeast of Manson Creek. Eight firefighters, two helicopters and five heavy equipment fight the interface fire, which threatens infrastructure and / or structures.

“There are (firefighting) resources out there, certainly not as many as we would like, but we’re doing what we can,” Nickel said.

The Klawi River fire west of the Mackenzie covers 1,450 ha and continues to burn uncontrollably, but is not considered an interface fire. No BC Wildfire Service firefighting resources are dedicated to this.

The 1,000 ha Tentfire Creek fire southwest of Tumbler Ridge and a 200 ha fire north of Monkman Provincial Park are still out of control. Two other uncontrollable fires are in the jurisdiction of the Northwest Fire Center near Cutoff Creek, including a fire of 275 ha at Grizzly Lake and 66 ha at Tatelkuz Lake, were caused by Saturday’s storm.

One of the biggest fires in the Cariboo is the Churn Lake fire southwest of 1000 Mile House, which started on July 1 due to lightning. It now covers 2,655 ha. The Nazko River fire southwest of Quesnel is still out of control, covering 303 ha.

In the northern Okanagan, an evacuation alert was lifted Sunday morning by the District of Coldsteam. A fire visible from Vernon near Becker Lake remains uncontrollable.

There are now 301 active fires in BC forests, 57 of which have started in the past two days. The province is divided into six fire centers and the total active fires include 57 at the Prince George Fire Center (all of northeastern British Columbia), 68 at Cariboo, 162 at Kamloops, 60 in the southeast, six in the Northwest and 8 in Coastal.

While Saturday’s thunderstorm also brought spells of heavy rain, there is no substantial rain forecast this week for the central interior.

High temperatures on Monday and Tuesday are expected to reach 29C, cooling to a high of 25C on Wednesday. Thursday will be mostly cloudy with a high of 22 C expected. Showers are forecast for Friday and Saturday with a forecast maximum of 21 ° C on both days.

Environment Canada has issued another air quality advisory warning the public of the potential smoky skies over Prince George over the next two days.

The province is continually updating its BC Wildland Fire Dashboard to provide the latest information. Call 1-800-663-5555 if you spot a wildfire.

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