Wildfire risk still high

By: Korie Marshall

Despite the recent rain, most of the Robson Valley is still at high to extreme risk for wildfire, and campfires are still banned in the Prince George Fire Centre and the entire province, as of Tuesday morning, July 13th. Fire bans are also in place throughout Jasper and Banff National Parks, and restrictions and bans are in place throughout most of Alberta as well.

Eighteen wildfires of note and well over 60 other fires are currently burning in BC. In the Prince George Fire Centre, the Little Bobtail Lake fire is still burning but is under control, and five other fires of note are currently burning, though none are immediately threatening structures or highways.

A 12,000 hectare fire in the Wilmore Wilderness area north of Jasper is still burning but is under control, and the Excelsior Creek fire in Jasper is still burning, but not currently threatening people or facilities. A Parks Canada website says all front country campgrounds, day use areas and facilities with the exception of the Maligne Valley are open and accessible. The Maligne Valley remains closed until further notice.

As of Friday, July 3rd, all open burning including campfires and fireworks are prohibited throughout the Prince George fire centre, and throughout the province. There are currently no restrictions on forest use in the Prince George Fire Centre, but the ban on open fires is to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety, says the Wildfire Branch’s website.

Specifically prohibited activities include burning of stubble or grass, fireworks and firecrackers, burn barrels, tiki torches and similar kinds of torches, and campfires used recreationally. Anyone conducting Category 2 or 3 fires anywhere in the Prince George Fire Centre was required to extinguish them by noon on July 2, 2015.

This prohibition on open fires will remain in effect until Sept. 30, 2015 or until the public is otherwise notified.