FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The warm and windy weather has helped produce even more forest fires in the Northeast B.C.
The fire near Buckinghorse is now 50 percent contained. Despite the strong winds, firefighters were successful in containing the fire as it still sits at 6.5 hectares.
The wind and warm weather also helped to reveal new forest fires that are believed to have been started on Monday by lightning, but were so small they remained undetectable until Tuesday.
A number of new #BCwildfire incidents in the Peace region today, including this fire near the Alaska Highway (#BCHwy97) ~190km northwest of @fortstjohn. Monitor https://t.co/Btq0K0WEUZ and https://t.co/WaILD7UIMG for up-to-date info. @DriveBC pic.twitter.com/zZcpjwcwaf
— BC Wildfire Service (@BCGovFireInfo) May 23, 2018
One fire is only a few kilometres south of the Buckinghorse fire is called Kahta Creek. This fire grew from a small spot fire to 875 hectares in size by the end of the day Tuesday and displayed aggressive fire behaviour. Air tankers and crews have been pulled from the fire for their safety. The positive news is the fire is moving in a northeast direction away from the Alaska Highway. The fire will be assessed on Wednesday and a new plan to fight the fire will be developed.
The Alaska Highway remains open in the area of both the Buckinghorse and the Kahta Creek Fire. Flaggers on are on site helping with traffic during strong periods of smoke.
Then there are the three new fires in the Beatton River area. All three fires started on Monday and flared up Tuesday. The first fire is named the Beatton River fire and is 50 hectares in size. A second fire is to the south of the Beatton River and is 25 hectares and the third is 3.5 hectares which is located North of Aiken Creek.
Crews are still monitoring the Milligan Hills fire. It is currently at 500 hectares but is not threatening any property in the area.
With hot and dry conditions forecast to continue this week, officials with the BC Wildfire Service are preparing to bring more crews to Northeast B.C. to deal with an increase in the fire danger rating and the potential for more wildfires to start.
Fire Information Officer Amanda Reynolds says that campers in Peace Region were very well-behaved over the Victoria Day weekend. The Prince George Fire Centre recorded only one human-caused wildfire over the weekend, which occurred near Vanderhoof.
Reynolds said that the Wildfire Service has already got a sizeable contingent of air tanker helicopters and water bombers in Northeast B.C. and that with no respite to the hot and dry weather this week, more resources will likely be brought in to deal with an increase to the wildfire danger rating. While most of Northeast B.C. is currently at a high danger rating, areas near Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, Hudson’s Hope, and Chetwynd are currently rated as ‘extreme.’