The Meachen Creek fire near St. Mary Lake had Kimberley under an evacuation alert last August. Kraven Photography Kimberley Bulletin file.

The Meachen Creek fire near St. Mary Lake had Kimberley under an evacuation alert last August. Kraven Photography Kimberley Bulletin file.

Forestry warns of hot spots from last season’s fires

Fires can re-emerge after smouldering underground through the winter

As weather warms, it is already time to start thinking about forest fires.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development is warning that areas of the province that were affected by wildfires last summer could see some hot spots re-emerge from last year’s fires.

An overwintering fire can occur when a wildfire that burned deep underground last year has continued to smoulder all winter long. Given the extent and intensity of many wildfires in the summer of 2018, some of these residual hot spots could flare up with the arrival of warmer and drier weather this spring.

Overwintering fires can remain dormant and undetected all winter long, but hot spots may re-emerge.

Given the large size of many wildfires in B.C. last year, some wildfires burned deep into organic soil layers, increasing the likelihood that overwintering fires will emerge in the spring.

The most common visual signs are smoke, smouldering ground or open flame within the wildfire’s original perimeter (the outer boundary of a fire).

Most overwintering fires will occur well within the original fire’s perimeter. Many areas near communities where wildfires burned last year are being actively patrolled by firefighters and scanned using thermal imaging technology.

It is standard practice for the BC Wildfire Service to monitor previous wildfire sites to ensure that any flare-ups from overwintering fires are located and suppressed if necessary. However, members of the public are encouraged to report any wildfire or smoke they see, even if it is located within the perimeter of a previous fire.

The majority of overwintering fires will remain well within the original fire’s perimeter.

Overwintering fires present a limited risk to communities, since previous wildfire areas near communities have been scanned using thermal-imaging technology and were patrolled extensively by firefighters.

However, any wildfire activity should be reported, even if it is within a previous wildfire perimeter. Call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.



carolyn.grant@kimberleybulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VICTORIA, CANADA - MARCH 25: BC Ambulance Services stock photography session March 25, 2013 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Jeff Vinnick Images)
Paramedics responding to increased volume of overdose calls

Data released by BC Emergency Health Services shows a rising provincial trend of overdose responses

Recipients of last year’s Winter Games Legacy Grant funds. Bulletin file.
City of Kimberley accepting applications for Winter Games Legacy grants

Grants are available for amateur sports organizations

Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse on staff at the Northwood Care facility, administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine to Ann Hicks, 77, in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-Pool
61 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

Twenty-nine people are in hospital, seven of whom are in intensive care

Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick. Bulletin file
No need for travel bans: Kimberley Mayor

While there has been plenty of chatter lately about the possibility of… Continue reading

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

Interior Health has declared the Cariboo Chilcotin a community cluster. (Angie Mindus photo)
Interior Health declares Cariboo Chilcotin region a COVID-19 cluster, 215 cases since Jan. 1

Most cases are related to transmission at social events and gatherings in Williams Lake

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Vernon's Noric House long-term care facility is dealing with an influenza outbreak amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (File photo)
Two more deaths at Vernon care home

Noric House case numbers remain steady, but death toll rises

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

Most Read