Warm weather baits fire season

A recent surge in hot weather in Greater Trail could devastate the area.

  • Aug. 19, 2012 1:00 p.m.

A recent surge in hot weather in Greater Trail could devastate the area.

The Kootenay Boundary region is among one of the highest areas at risk for fires province-wide.

According to fire information officer Karlie Shaughnessy of the Southeast Fire Centre, Greater Trail is on the verge of extreme fire risks and fire wardens are not wasting any time.

“We have crews on standby,” Shaughnessy said, in light of the hot weather patterns this weekend.

Ron Lakeman, weather forecaster for the Southeast Fire Centre, said that Saturday and Sunday are expected to reach temperatures in the high 30-degree Celsius marks. He said that thunderstorms are predicted for Sunday night, which will increase the risk of fires.

Two spot-sized fires caused by lightning have already been extinguished northeast of the city. The first fire was three kilometres away from Champion Lake, and the second one northeast of Trail was roughly 0.2 hectares wide.

In the past week the Southeast Fire Centre has responded to 47 wildfires, 43 of which were caused by lightning.

The fire danger rating is currently high in the Southeast Fire Centre with risks of verging on extreme. Regions of the west coast, northern B.C. and Vancouver Island are also considered to be at high risk.

Since April 1, the Southeast Fire Centre has responded to 95 fires, and 34 per cent of these were human-caused.

Fires close to Greater Trail include a 1.5-hectare fire located 38 kilometres northwest of the city. The fire is 80 per cent contained and there are 20 personnel and one helicopter working on site.

The Skimmerhorn Mountain fire, east of Lister, is 56 hectares-wide and is 75 per cent contained.

The Five Mile Creek fire, nine kilometres northeast of Nelson, is 1.6 ha. and is 75 per cent contained. Thirteen personnel and two helicopters have been working on-site.

In addition, a fire prohibition that began in mid-July is still in effect across the Southern Interior until Sept. 19, but could be lifted earlier if weather permits. The ban prohibits burning any waste, slash or other materials, burning stubble or grass and the use of fireworks or burning barrels of any size in areas surrounding municipal boundaries.

Open burning and fireworks are not allowed in the City of Trail.