Prescribed Burn Gone Wrong Cause of Raven Lake Wildfire
Williams Lake, B.C. – A prescribed burn gone wrong was behind the cause of the Raven Lake wildfire 55 kilometres west of Williams Lake last night.
“Essentially hot, dry and windy conditions caused an increase in fire behaviour on a prescribed burn conducted by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, causing it to spread outside the prescribed burn area,” says Natasha Broznitsky, fire information officer with the Cariboo Fire Centre.
In a note to 250News, Ryan Turcot with the BC Wildfire Service says “Over the past five years, about 21 (less than 5%) of the 429 registered prescribed or resource management burns escaped and required suppression action.”
A note on their website adds prescribed burns are “one of a number of fuel management tools and techniques that can be used to help reduce the intensity of naturally occurring wildfires while returning an integral process to the ecosystem.”
As for the current status of the Raven Lake wildfire, Broznitsky says it was remapped at 60 hectares in size today – roughly half the 125 hectares it was estimated at last night.
“Today we’ve got 55 firefighters, three helicopters and heavy equipment on site. Crews have completed containment lines around 100 per cent of the perimeter,” she says.
“But we are still classifying this fire as out of control. That’s due to the fire behaviour and hot, dry and windy weather conditions on site today.”
Broznitsky adds there is no threat to public safety or property at this time though she asks the public to stay away from the area and not use the Alex Graham-Raven Lake Forest Service Road, also known as the 1300 Road.