Wildfire Service Concerned About Complacency
Prince George, B.C.-Although the number of new fire starts in B.C. have been sparked by lightning, the BC Wildfire Service is expressing concern the public may become complacent and not be as vigilant in efforts to prevent new human caused fires.“We definitely are concerned that people are going to start getting complacent” says BC Wildfire Service Chief Information Officer Kevin Skrepnek. “It is only early August, and this is typically our busiest period for fire activity.”
Skrepnek says the hot dry weather conditions are expected to continue and while a low front may be heading to the province next week, it will likely bring with it more windy conditions and lightning “Given that forecast, in all likelihood our situation is going to be getting worse before it gets any better.”
He says it is heartening that there hasn’t been a spike in human caused fires “Given just hot and dry it is out there, fires can start quite easily, so I think in general the public is getting the message around preventing fires.”
But with Evacuation orders being downgraded to alerts, and many folks being allowed to return home, Skrepnek says the concern is people may not think the threat is as looming as it really is. “We are still getting reports of irresponsible activity and certainly we are still having human caused fires ( 2 in the Cariboo region yesterday) and when things are this volatile, one preventable fire is one too many.”
Off road vehicles remain banned from the back country in the Cariboo and Kamloops Fire Centres, and campfires and burning bans remain banned through nearly all of B.C. with the exception of Haida Gwaii and the fog zone on Vancouver Island.