Firefighters are battling six wildfires that have occurred on the South Island over the last few days. All caused by controlled burns at logging sites.
On Monday, B.C. Wildfire Service sent seven firefighters, 10 forest company workers and two water trucks to a 40-hectare fire burning about 1.5-kilometres inland from Bragg Creek bridge, near Shirley. No structures are at risk, but the fire is causing smoke that can be seen from Victoria, said fire information officer Donna MacPherson.
Over the weekend five smaller fires were reported in an area from Shirley to Port Renfrew. The other fires are at French Holme Creek, East Muir forestry road, Camper Creek Main, San Juan River and Fleet River.
All the fires were started from controlled burns where forest companies burn slash, branches and other forest debris in a designated area, said MacPherson. The wildfires went beyond the perimeters of the provincially-approved fire plan.
The fires are used to reduce wildfire risk in the summer.
This week’s fire were likely caused by a “weird weather event,” said MacPherson.
“We had summertime warm temperature and dry air (less than 30 per cent humidity), she said
“The two together dried the slash piles, and the fires became more active. The moment they moved beyond from the defined area within the burn plan then it becomes a wildfire.”
The six fires are called crawling fires where they creep along the forest fires burning up dry leaves and shrubs and the occasional dead tree. Most fires don’t exceed knee height.
But there is good news for firefighters. Over the next few days cooler weather is expected and higher humidity.
To report a wildfire, please call 1 800 663-5555 or *5555 from a cellphone.