Due to an elevated wildfire risk in British Columbia, the Wildfire Management Branch has requested the assistance of 21 out-of-province personnel to aid with fire suppression efforts.
“Because of this extended stretch of hot and dry weather, we’re asking for additional assistance from Ontario. I’d also like to remind British Columbians to be extra vigilant while enjoying the outdoors this weekend and to fully extinguish any campfires before leaving them,” said Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.
Hot and dry weather conditions are expected throughout the province this weekend, with a potential for thunderstorm activity to bring dry lightning to southwestern B.C. With this forecast in mind, fire officials are preparing for a potentially significant increase in fire activity.
One Incident Management Team from Ontario and other specialized personnel will be arriving in B.C. on Sunday, July 13, 2014. They will initially be stationed in Kamloops and deployed elsewhere as determined by current fire activity and projected need. Firefighting crews will be on standby in all six of B.C.’s fire centres in preparation for an anticipated increase in fire starts.
Fire danger ratings in the province are currently “moderate” to “high”, with many pockets of “extreme”. The forecasted drying trend will increase this fire danger rating, making forest fuels very receptive to ignition.
While there are currently no provincial campfire prohibitions in effect, the public is asked to take precautions when lighting fires of any size. Anyone lighting a campfire must maintain a fireguard by removing flammable debris from around the campfire area and must have a hand tool or at least eight litres of water available nearby to properly extinguish the fire. Please make sure your campfire is kept small, safe and supervised at all times.
For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to: http://www.bcwildfire.ca
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