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Long weekend saw no jump in human-caused fires across BC

BC fires - a welcome break

Contributed Alanna Kelly

As B.C. hits a milestone with half a million hectares burned this weekend, the B.C. Wildfire Service is commending people for their behaviour over the long weekend.

Fire information officer Jean Strong says coming out of the weekend there are a similar number of fires actively burning as there were before the weekend started.

As of Tuesday morning, 250 wildfires are burning across the province of B.C.; just over six per cent of those actively burning are human-caused.

“We didn’t see any of that big human-caused activity starts that we could have over a long weekend when people are out and being active so I think that speaks to people really heeding our advice and being cautious,” says Strong.

Also, Strong says another positive effort from the weekend was how prepared BC Wildfire Service initial attack crews were.

“They were able to get on some of those new starts,” she says.

Rain across the province sent joy and sighs of relief across the province on Sunday, and Strong says it did have an impact on some fires.

"We saw some rain over the weekend which was a welcomed addition across the province,” she says. “The rain helped in many areas… the big fires didn’t see as much of an effect, but certainly in the coastal fire centre.”

Aggressive fire activity was still seen on the larger fires across the province like the White Rock Lake wildfire which continues to grow and is estimated at 31,312 hectares.

“We did still see some of that hot weather that had some of those bigger fires burning very intensely and aggressively,” says Strong.

As of Tuesday morning, 555,904 hectares have burned and 4,620 properties are on order and 21,042 are on alert.

Cooler temperatures are in the forecast and might also bring some relief on the fire front.

“Fortunately at the end of this week we are also expecting a cooling trend and of course any time we get those cooler temperatures it's wonderful for our suppression efforts,” says Strong.

More lightning is also expected in some areas of the province this week, which BC Wildfire service says they’ll be monitoring and sending initial attack crews to.



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