Aerial view of the Tunkwa Lake wildfire near Logan Lake in May 2018. The BC Wildfire Service is keeping an eye on last year’s wildfire sites to ensure that no overwintering fires pop up. Photo: BC Wildfire Service.

Overwintering fires can re-emerge in spring

BC Wildfire service is monitoring areas hit by fire last year

As warmer weather returns to parts of the province affected by last summer’s wildfires, the BC Wildfire Service is advising British Columbians that some hot spots could re-emerge due to what are called “overwintering” fires.

An overwintering fire can occur when a wildfire that burned deep underground last year has continued to smoulder all winter long, even while showing no visible signs of activity above ground. 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.

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.

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire, or open burning violation, call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free, or *5555 on a cellphone.

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures, and air quality advisories, visit http://www.bcwildfire.ca.



editorial@accjournal.ca

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