Fire season is underway

Four wildfires reported over the weekend; all human-caused

The weather has been warm and relatively dry and many East Kootenay residents are packing up the RV’s and beginning the camping season early. And one of the busiest camping weekends of the year comes this weekend with the May long weekend. That means one and all should be thinking about campfire safety.

Jordan Turner, information officer with the Southeast Fire Centre says that things are busier than at this time last year, likely because of the earlier snow melt.

“We are seeing more fires currently,” he said. “So far, there have been 25 — all human caused. Last year was busy and had 12 at this period in the season. It’s due to the early snow melt, there’s lots of dead, dry grass which can catch quickly and cause fires to spread.”

Over the past weekend there were four fires, again all human caused, Turner says.

“Two of the fires were northeast of Cranbrook and the result of unsafe campfire use,” he said. “We need to remind people to be extra careful and make sure your campfire is completely out.”

There were two fires in the Elkford/Sparwood area, one a result of poorly planned burning on a rural property and the other caused by a spark during target shooting.

“A little thing can lead to a wildfire,” Turner said. “It’s been quite hot and dry and this week there are some storm systems forecast that could bring lightning caused fires. Our crews will be busy enough with those without having to respond to human-caused fires.”

To report a wild-fire or an unattended campfire, please call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on your cell.