There have been 49 new fire starts in the Southeast Fire Centre since last Tuesday, August 5, five in the Cranbrook zone.
The closest to Kimberley is a fire reported Tuesday, August 12 in the Mark Creek watershed. The fire is burning 17 kilometres northwest of Kimberley and had only grown to four hectares yesterday morning. There are 13 firefighters and one helicopter on the fire according to Fanny Bernard at the Fire Centre.
“I can’t confirm it was lightning caused,” Bernard said. “So there will be an investigation into its cause.”
This is not an interface fire and is burning at approximately 2000 metres.
Bernard says that the fire danger in the Kimberley area is high to extreme. The majority of fires have been lightning caused, and while that is keeping fire crews very busy, the lack of human-caused fires is a big bonus.
“People in the Southeast Fire Centre have been very good, really vigilant with campfires. With the hot, dry weather forecast to continue along with some thunder storms, we really ask people to continue to respect all restrictions in place, including campfire bans.”
Bernard also asks that if you see smoke, call it in.
“The public calls in approximately one third of all the fires in the province. If you see smoke, even if it’s in an area where you think it would already be called in, call in anyway. You just might be the first to report it.”
If you see smoke, call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on your cell.
Bernard says that there is no doubt that fire crews have been very busy this summer.
“We have been responding to a lot of naturally occurring fires, but we are going at each one as they come up. The crews are doing a great job.”
Help has been arriving from other jurisdictions including 19 incident management personnel and 40 firefighters from Ontario, 40 firefighters from Quebec in the last week. Australia has also sent 80 specialized personnel, those being officers, aircraft coordinators and incident