The Robson Valley may see more smoke or haze than usual today (August 15) and over the weekend due to wildfires burning in the Raush River watershed.
According to Dustin Eno, Fire Information Officer for the Prince George Fire Centre, lightning has started three fires over the last five days in the Raush River area about 35 kilometres southeast of McBride. Wildfire Management Branch crews, assisted by a helicopter and air tankers, are working to contain one of the fires which is currently estimated at approximately five hectares in size.
The two other fires in the watershed have been designated as “modified response” fires which means that the Wildfire Management Branch is monitoring the fires with air patrols, but is allowing them to burn.
This approach is in accordance with the area’s Fire Management Plan, which recognizes the ecological benefits of fire. Fire returns nutrients to the soil, resulting in new growth and the creation of habitat that is preferred by some wildlife. Fire also helps remove the build-up of forest fuels (combustible material) and creates a natural firebreak that will make it easier to deal with future fires. One of the fires has remained small and the other is now estimated at approximately 167 hectares in size.
Depending on weather conditions over the next week, it is likely that these fires, and others burning across the province, will continue to generate smoke which will be visible throughout the Robson Valley.
B.C. Air Quality: http://www.bcairquality.ca/bluesky/west/index.html
Wildfires can be reported by dialing *5555 from most cell phones, or toll free at 1-800-663-5555.