Weekend sparks small fires in B.C.’s southeast

BC Wildfire reports nine lightning-caused wildfires and one human-caused fire in the southeast district since Friday.

A quick response by Fruitvale firefighters stopped the spread of flames from a motor home to private residence.

A quick response by Fruitvale firefighters stopped the spread of flames from a motor home to private residence.

BC Wildfire reports nine lightning-caused wildfires and one human-caused fire in the southeast district since Friday.

Nearest to the Trail area is the lightning-caused Goose Creek fire, located just outside of Krestova.

By Tuesday afternoon, the 0.11-hectare was reported fully contained with nine firefighters on site patrolling the area and checking for hot spots.

Also alarming, is the 32 abandoned campfires the service responded to over the long weekend four of those in the Arrow Fire zone, which is the Trail and Castlegar region.

Abandoned campfires can easily spark wildfires. Person-caused wildfires are completely preventable and unnecessarily divert firefighting resources away from naturally occurring wildfires.

On Tuesday the service issued a news release urging the public to be more careful with their fire use to help reduce the risk of people-caused fires.

“Never leave a campfire unattended,” says Southeast Fire Information Officer Karlie Shaughnessy. “And when you do leave, the area must be cold to the touch.”

After last year’s major wildfire season, 1,340 fires were reported and 290,000 hectares burned by July 30, the province isn’t fooling around when it comes to ticketing those who do not comply with campfire and open burning regulations.

Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a violation ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail.

If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

Though there isn’t word if any fines were attached to the local unattended campfires, Shaughnessy confirmed that fire wardens work together with local agencies to patrol and enforce fire service regulations.

The current fire danger reading is moderate, meaning forest fuels are drying and there is an increased risk of surface fires.