Latest heat wave renews wildfire concerns

There have been 112 wild fires in the Southeast Fire Zone so far this year.

There have been 112 wild fires in the Southeast Fire Zone so far this year, and nearly one-fifth of those were from last week’s thunderstorm.

“The conditions are right for naturally occurring fires,” said Fanny Bernard, forest information officer in the Southeast Fire Zone.

“Since last Thursday, we have had 31 new starts and 23 of those were from last week’s lightning storm.”

Bernard says that not all of the lightning-started fires ignited directly after the storm, but reignited after the rain dried up.

“Even in the area that received precipitation, some of the lightning strikes had ignited fuels which are temporarily abated by rainfall, she said.

“With the hot and dry weather we have had, they become active again.”

There are initial attack crews currently working to extinguish all of the burns, none of which are any threat to surrounding communities or buildings and Bernard says the fire centre is keeping an eye out for more burns in the future, especially with some storms predicted for the end of the week.

“So far, we have lightning and then hot weather,” she said.

“There is potential for thunderstorms at the end of this week and over the weekend and then hot and dry weather next week.”

Last week’s lightning-ignited fire near Casino, five kilometres from Trail, has been extinguished, says Bernard, and it never posed a threat.

Bernard wants to remind the public to remain vigilant when it comes to reporting potential wildfires to the right authorities.

“The public reports one-third of the wildfires we go to,” she said. “Report any suspected fire, even if you think that someone else may have seen it and already called it in. Call it in anyways.”

To keep the number of human-caused wildfires, Bernard has a few tips for the public, especially during the upcoming long weekend.

“The classic cigarette butt out the car windows, or even just putting them on the ground, has been known to start fires,” she said “Driving vehicles like ATVs over tall grass or any dry fuels, mechanical brushing,  and chainsaw use can create sparks that can hit fuels. Machinery hitting rocks, like excavators, can create sparks as well.”

When it comes to campfires, the same old rules apply.

“If you are lighting a campfire, remove any flammable fuels from the surrounding area, never leave your campfire unattended, have at least eight litres of water nearby and always have a hand tool, such as a shovel, but ideally both,” said Bernard. “Make sure your campfire is completely out, which means the ashes are cool to the touch, and keep an eye out for suspected fires and unattended campfires.”

As of press time, there was no campfire ban in place, but Bernard encourages the public to visit www.bcwildfire.ca for to-the-minute updates on the status of bans. Currently, there are bans on fireworks, sky lanterns and burning barrels.

To report a wildfire, a potential burn or ban violations, call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on a cell phone.

Just Posted

Forty sled dogs were seized by the BC SPCA from a Salmo kennel in February. A recent ruling has decided the dogs won’t be returned. Photo: Gounsil/Flickr
BC Farm Industry Review Board rules against Salmo kennel after 40 sled dogs seized

Spirit of the North Kennels was also ordered to pay BC SPCA $64,000

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

SD20 now has an electric bus. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay-Columbia School District 20 adds electric bus to fleet

Bus will be incorporated into Castlegar route for next school year

Painting by Dave Davies from Shaver’s Bench facing Teck Trail.
Happy 120th Birthday to the City of Trail!

The town of Trail Creek- or Trail Creek Landing - was incorporated as a city on June 14, 1901.

Cropped photo: Silver Screen Drive-in will be in the upper parking lot of Waneta Plaza.
Summer drive-in returns to Trail unveiling blockbuster movies

PHOTOS: Scroll to bottom for a trip down memory lane to the Auto Vue Drive-In

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Denmark soccer player Christian Eriksen collapses during game against Finland

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Condolences pour in for Kathy Richardson, Naramata’s 3rd homicide victim in recent weeks

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More than 75% of B.C. adults have 1st dose of COVID vaccine

The federal government has confirmed a boost in the Moderna vaccine will be coming later this month

Most Read