The BC Wildfire Service is responding to several wildfires within the Cassiar Fire Zone of the Northwest Fire Centre and is preparing for potential new wildfire activity in the region due to higher-than-normal temperatures and drought conditions.
Three new wildfires started this week in the Cassiar Fire Zone. Firefighting crews are also continuing to work on holdover fires associated with the 2018 Alkali Lake fire and the 2018 Schaft Creek fire. A holdover fire (or overwintering fire) can occur when a wildfire that burned deep underground last year continues to smoulder all winter long. Some residual hotspots can emerge with the arrival of warmer and drier weather.
Current wildfires in the Cassiar Fire Zone include:
2018 Alkali Lake fire (R91947)
- This fire originated seven kilometres northwest of Telegraph Creek. There are six holdover fires inside or on the perimeter of this fire.
- Crews are currently fighting a 50-hectare fire about 40 kilometres northwest of Telegraph Creek.
- Seven firefighters are working on another holdover fire about six kilometres northeast of Telegraph creek. This fire covers less than one hectare.
- These fires are not threatening any communities at this time. Suppression activities are being prioritized for all holdover fires.
Black Angus fire (R90376)
- This new fire is about 40 kilometres south of Lower Post and 50 kilometres northeast of Good Hope Lake.
- This lightning-caused fire covers about 1,018 hectares.
- The fire is being monitored while the BC Wildfire Service develops a long-term response plan.
- This fire is not threatening any communities, but smoke from the fire is highly visible in the area.
Liard River fire (R90393)
- This lightning-caused fire is about 25 kilometres west of Lower Post and covers about five hectares.
- Sixteen firefighters are currently on location.
- This fire is not threatening any communities.
Hot and dry weather, high to extreme fire danger ratings and all-time-high drought codes in some areas of the Cassiar Fire Zone are a concern for the Northwest Fire Centre. In response to these conditions, the BC Wildfire Service will establish a 150-person fire camp in the Dease Lake area this weekend. The camp will be used to house firefighters and other personnel assisting with wildfire management in the area.
In addition to the fire camp, an incident management team will help direct wildfire response in the region. The incident management team is travelling to Dease Lake today (May 30).
The Northwest Fire Centre anticipates more holdover fires associated with the 2018 Alkali Lake fire. Firefighters will work out of the Dease Lake fire camp on a rotational basis throughout the summer. This will allow for quicker response times to new fire starts.
To report a wildfire 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
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* Most overwintering or holdover fires will occur well within the original fire’s perimeter.
* It is standard practice for the BC Wildfire Service to monitor previous wildfire sites to ensure that any 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 is located within the perimeter of a previous fire.