Seven new forest fires start in the Peace; all human caused

Smoke from the fire south of Pouce Coupe May 12, 2018 - Submitted
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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The B.C. Wildfire Service responded to seven new forest fires on Saturday that were all human-caused.

The largest fire was south of Pouce Coupe and reached 10 hectares in size.  Crews from the B.C. Wildfire Service, the Pouce Coupe Volunteer Fire Department and a crew from Alberta all responded to the fire.  Two tankers were successful in containing the fire and keeping it from Highway 2.  Crews will continue to monitor the fire throughout the night and have more resources on the fire if need be on Sunday.  The Village of Pouce Coupe has not issued any evacuation orders or alerts for the area.

The Village of Pouce Coupe has banned all burning within the boundaries of the community.  The ban includes everything from large burning to campfires.  This ban only affects residents that live within the boundaries of the Village of Pouce Coupe.

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B.C. Wildfire Service officials are stressing residents in the Peace Region need to obey the fire ban that was implemented earlier this month for the entire region.  A category two ban is in place that covers all open burning of any material (piled or unpiled) smaller than two metres high and three metres wide.  The ban also includes burning barrels, fireworks and stubble or grass fires over an area smaller than 2,000 square metres.  At this time the ban does not include campfires.

With the forecast calling for more hot and dry weather, with high winds, the B.C. Wildfire Service is ready with resources to respond to any new fires.

Beaton River Valley

This fire started on Friday but is now considered out.  The fire reached 2.5 hectares in size.

Baldonnel Road

This fire has six firefighters working to contain the fire.  Local residents are also helping and crews have been able to get a good handle on the fire.  It is approximately 8 hectares.

East Pine

The fire is two to three hectares in size and eight firefighters are working the fire.  The winds have died down and crews have also been able to contain this fire.

Wonowon/Halfway River

This fire was started by someone burning grass.  Crews in the area have the fire under control.

Gundy Road

This fire reached four hectares in size and is now considered out.

Powder King

A landowner was burning and caused this fire.  Crews are working the fire and it is currently 1.5 hectares in size.  The fire is located 15 km north of Powder King along Highway 97.

Fire Information Officers Amanda Reynolds with the Prince George Fire Centre said that conditions in Northeast B.C. are starting to dry out because of the lack of rain that the rest of the Southern Interior has experienced this week. Reynolds is reminding residents that Category Two fires, fireworks, and burning barrels are currently banned in all of Northeast B.C. and that anyone present near a campfire that is larger than a half-metre in dimension would be liable to get a fine of over $1,000.

The video below shows crews responding to a fire near Fort Nelson on Friday, May 11.  The fire caused over 100 properties to be evacuated for part of the day on Friday.  The fire has been contained.

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