Hot and dry, with a potential for thunder and lightning, accompanied by high winds, is the weather forecast for the weekend. With that in mind, the folks at the Southeast Fire Centre are really hoping East and West Kootenay campers respect the campfire ban which went into effect at 11 a.m. today.
Crews are in the mop up stages of a 2.8 hectare fire on the Lost Dog Forest Service Road north of Kimberley, said Jordan Turner of the Southeast Fire Centre.
“It’s been contained,” he said Thursday morning. “Fire fighters are walking it looking for hot spots. There is also one initial attack crew at a spot fire near Jaffray, Baynes Lake. That is not yet contained. But that is all we have in the Kimberley, Cranbrook area.”
“With the hot, dry weather and the potential for lightning, we are hoping people will be extra careful and remember the campfire ban. We are looking at hot and dusty through next week.”
Thus far in the fire season there have been 129 fires in the southeast area compared to 22 last year.
“Of that 47 were human-caused and therefore preventable,” Turner said. “When we respond to human-caused fires, we have less resources for lightning caused fires.”
There has been a lot more fire activity in the West Kootenay in the past week as lightning went through.
Turner says the East Kootenay should expect more lightning this Saturday according to their forecasts.
The Southeast Fire Centre covers the area extending from the U.S. border in the south to Mica Dam in the north and from the Okanagan Highlands and Monashee Mountains in the west to the B.C.-Alberta border in the east. It includes the Selkirk Forest District and the Rocky Mountain Forest District.
To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.
Anyone found in contravention of a fire prohibition may be issued a ticket for $345, required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail.