Back at the beginning of April there was a string of wildfires popping up in the area around Merritt. After a calmer week last week, the fires have started to spark again with two new fires, one reported on Sunday which is now extinguished and one on Monday. Hannah Swift with BC Wildfire spoke to Q101 about the early start to the wildfire season.
“Definitely not uncommon to see fires like this early in the spring. Just kind of catches the public off guard some of the time but definitely preventable,” said Swift.
“We do experience these spring fires, it’s quite common,” said Swift. “We have seen more than usual this time, but again we have the rain and people don’t see it coming. So, we just need to make sure we are aware and trying to stop them as they come.”
Looking ahead at the full fire season to come increased precipitation could play a major role.
“Currently our season forecast is showing above average levels of precipitation within the Kamloops fire centre on a whole. These levels of precipitation really help reduce how severe the forest fields will dry in the summer,” said Swift. “It’s highly dependant on those local short-range weather patterns. So, it’s really hard to predict how things will turn out.”
The current fire in the area is now a 112-hectare wildfire near Minnie Lake road just south of Douglas Lake.
The fire is considered at this time to be human caused. The blaze has already increased in size twice from its initial size of 50-hectares and then was held at 80- hectares yesterday before growing to its current level.
The second fire was on Hembrie Mountain north of Princeton but has now been extinguished. The fire was 6-hectares in size and believed to be human caused.
“It’s definitely a good time for people to educate themselves on how they can prevent wildfires as we head into the season,” said Swift.
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