FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – 51 new fires were sparked across the Prince George Fire Centre on Thursday, bringing the total number of new fires that have started in the past two days to 93.
Communications Assistant Forrest Tower with the BC Wildfire Service said nearly all of the new fires are suspected to have been caused by lightning after a series of thunderstorms rolled across Northern B.C. yesterday. He said that the vast majority of new starts are spot fires located in remote unpopulated areas, though a few did experience rapid initial growth.
A wildfire that was sparked by lightning at around 1:00 p.m. Thursday about five kilometres from Pink Mountain has grown to 15 hectares. Tower said that 3 firefighters are using heavy equipment to build containment around the blaze, with five more firefighters on their way to assist. He said that air tankers were able to drop retardant on the fire and slow its growth yesterday, while the fire itself experienced heavy rain through the overnight hours.
The largest fire currently burning in Northeast B.C. is burning south of the Fort Nelson First Nation and sits at around 300 hectares in size. Tower said that 35 firefighters are on the ground battling the fire, assisted by helicopter bucket crews. He explained that at this point, the fire has been moving in a southerly direction away from the First Nation, and officials have no plans to initiate any evacuations at this time.
Tower added that at this point, resources have been assigned to all but one new fire in the Fire Centre.