It has been a relatively calm summer for wildfires so far, but B.C. officials are urging caution as the Interior and Kootenays enter the long weekend during a heat wave.
There have been 243 wildfire since April 1. While quieter than normal, August is typically the most active month of B.C.’s wildfire season.
Most concerning is that 85 per cent of those blazes were human-caused, which means natural causes such as lightning weren’t a factor. That’s compared to last year’s average of 54 per cent.
“We know people want to get out into the great outdoors, but it’s important that everyone stay vigilant about fire safety,” said Forestry Minister Doug Donaldson in a news release Thursday (July 39).
“Fighting wildfires can be challenging at the best of times, but managing them in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic requires BC Wildfire Service staff to operate with even greater care. I urge everyone to support our crews by using fire responsibly and making sure that their activities don’t spark a wildfire this holiday weekend.”
85% of B.C.'s wildfires so far have been linked to human activity. The #BCWildfire Service urges responsible fire-use this #BCDay long weekend. Please review our latest news release for info on campfire precautions and other tips on wildfire prevention: https://t.co/akGx4lYqmK pic.twitter.com/KdLmYTpuGm— BC Wildfire Service (@BCGovFireInfo) July 30, 2020
Campfires are currently allowed in all areas of the province, however people are being urged to use caution and ensure they fully extinguish their fires with water.
Meanwhile, larger fires – specifically Category 2 and 3 – are prohibited in the Kamloops region and across the Kootenays.
As the weather remains warm, the hot and dry conditions dry out forest and grassland fuels in the dirt, which increase wildfire hazards.
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