Fort St. John wildfire risk high, but expected to decrease

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The area around Fort St. John is facing a moderate to high fire hazard, after several days of warm, dry weather.

Currently, dry grass is the biggest hazard in the area, says Brent Bird, a senior fire protection officer in Prince George.

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Bye says dry gas is extremely flammable and people should take extra precautions when starting a fire in their backyards. He also says that people should be careful when driving their ATVs, since grass can get caught near the muffler, causing a spark that could ignite.

He also says dry grass has been contributing to the massive wildfires affecting parts of Alberta. There has been widespread destruction in Slave Lake in particular, where parts of the town have been reduced to ashes.

There is a grass fire burning near the Doig River First Nation, northeast of Fort St. John. However, Wildfire Management officials say it is not a major concern. The 20 hectare fire is approximately 80 per cent contained and since the Peace River area is expected to receive a considerable amount of rain over the next few days, they hope the fire will be extinguished. The rain is also expected to bring the Fort St. John fire hazard rating back down to low.

Despite the expected decreased forest fire risk around Fort St. John, smoke travelling from the raging wildfires in Alberta is a concern in the Peace, potentially affecting air quality in the area. However, according to the Ministry of the Environment, the anticipated rainfall will help minimize any air quality concerns.

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