‘Overwintering’ fires could flare up: Forest Service


As warmer weather returns to parts of the province that were affected by last summer’s wildfires, some hotspots could emerge due to what are called “overwintering” fires.

An overwintering fire can occur when a wildfire that burned deep underground last year has continued to smoulder all winter long. Given the extent of last summer’s drought and the intensity of some of the 2017 wildfires, some of these residual hotspots could flare up with the arrival of warmer and drier weather this spring.

Most overwintering fires will occur well within the original fire’s perimeter. Areas near communities where wildfires burned last year were patrolled extensively by firefighters and have been scanned using thermal-imaging technology.

It is standard practice for the BC Wildfire Service to monitor these previous wildfire areas to ensure that any flare-ups from overwintering fires are located and suppressed, if necessary.

However, members of the public are encouraged to report any wildfire or smoke that they see, even if it’s located within the perimeter of a previous fire. To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free, or *5555 on a cellphone.

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: http://www.bcwildfire.ca