With sunny weather and soaring temperatures in the forecast for the foreseeable future, the risk for forest fires in the province will intensify greatly over the coming weeks.
Over the last 48 hours, forest firefighters have been battling a blaze in the northeastern sector of B.C. where a fire has quadrupled in size over a 24 hour span. The fire is near Tumbler Ridge and could cross the provincial borders with Alberta.
Currently, the Red Deer Creek Fire has grown to 5,000 hectares in size – up from its 650 hectare size on Tuesday – and is sending a large column of smoke high up into the sky. Its area at this moment is equivalent to 50 square kilometres or nearly half of the City of Vancouver.
— BCGovFireInfo (@BCGovFireInfo) July 9, 2014
— BCGovFireInfo (@BCGovFireInfo) July 8, 2014
Crews at a nearby oil and gas work camp have been evacuated.
The lack of any precipitation will cause the forest floor to increasingly dry, creating conditions that are ideal for forest fires to easily begin and quickly spread.
Human interaction and carelessness is the number one cause of such incidents. Unattended or unextinguished campfires are of particular concern.
The provincial government has released these precautions for the public to follow:
B.C.’s Wildlife Act stipulates that if an outdoor burn escapes and causes a wildfire, the person responsible may be held accountable for damages and fire suppression costs.
Those who violate open fire prohibitions could be issued a ticket for $345 or, if convicted in court, may be fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in jail. If the violation causes a wildfire, the individual could be ordered to pay a penalty of up to $10,000 and all firefighting costs.
The current B.C. forest fire risk as of July 10, 2014 at noon.
Image: BC Forest Fire
Featured Image: BC Newsroom