Fire danger remains high ahead of long weekend

There are no fire restrictions for Greater Trail, but that could changed next week.

In spite of nearly a month with little precipitation there is no change to fire restrictions in the region but that could change next week.

“At this point there are no restrictions on campfires but we’re maintaining the open fire ban for the region,” said Jordan Turner, fire information office for the Southeast Fire Centre. “We’ve got a fire official monitoring the situation and we are considering a ban as early as next week, depending on precipitation in the next few days.”

Although it’s still hot and dry locally, Environment Canada is predicting unsettled weather in the coming days, with a possibility of thunderstorms, which could in turn mean an increased possibility of wild fires.

For those considering camping this weekend, Turner wants to remind the public to be careful and follow the B.C campfire regulations.

“Campfires have to be kept to a half meter by half meter and campers are required to either have a shovel on hand or eight litres of water to put the fire out,” said Turner. “They are also required to maintain a fire break at least one meter around the fire and are never leave a fire unattended.”

The only wildfire of note in the region is still the Perry Ridge fire burning in the Slocan Valley, which has been burning since July 24. The lightning caused fire currently covers 96.8 hectares and is rated as un-contained.

The Southeast Fire Centre has 103 firefighters and eight helicopters committed to fighting the blaze.

“The fire danger rating for our region is mainly high, with a few pockets of extreme danger around Grand Forks and Nelson,” said Turner. “Other than the Perry Ridge fire there is a small fire, less than one hectare, in the Mt. McGregor area, 22 kilometers east of Nelson. We have an initial attack crew on the scene there.”

The public is reminded to be vigilant about reporting wildfires and unattended campfires by calling *5555 on their cell phones or 1-800-663-5555.

People can find more information on the fire danger and current wildfires on the web at www.bcwildfire.ca.