As the anniversary of the start of the 2017 wildfires approaches (Saturday, July 7), the BC Wildfire Service is reporting that the fires in the Cariboo and Prince George Fire Centres are well under control.
Fire information officer Forrest Tower says the incident management team for the Comstock Lake Fire Complex, which encompassed the Comstock Lake Fire, the Northwest of Batnuni Lake Fire and the 600 Road Fire, is being disbanded today, with the Comstock Lake Fire falling back under the Prince George Fire Centre and the Northwest of Batnuni Lake Fire under the Cariboo Fire Centre.
The 600 Road Fire, which was near Vanderhoof, is now out.
The Northwest of Batnuni Lake Fire is classified as under control, with resources continuing to monitor it for hot spots.
The Comstock Lake Fire is classified as being held, which Tower says means it is not predicted to grow past the current perimeter. It is held at around 2,700 hectares.
“There are hot spots the crews are working on extinguishing,” he says.
The Comstock Lake Fire is still currently listed as a Wildfire of Note, but Tower says it will likely be downgraded once the fire is back under the PG Fire Centre.
The Wildfire Service is continuing to monitor both fires with drones, conducting thermal scanning to detect further hot spots.
Tower says the operational camp set up on Pelican Forest Service Road for crews fighting the fires is still there; however, as the fires continue to get under control, it will likely be demobilized in the next week.
The other Wildfire of Note in the province, which was located near Fraser Lake in the Prince George Fire Centre, is now considered under control. It no longer appears on the BC Wildfire Service map.
From April 1 through June 27, 2018, the BC Wildfire Service responded to 568 wildfires in B.C., of which about 40 per cent are believed to have been caused by people, a BC Wildfire Service press release reads.
“Last summer’s unprecedented wildfire season highlights the need to always be careful with any fire use,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development in the press release, which was sent out to remind residents to be careful when setting fires over Canada Day long weekend.
Campfires are currently permitted throughout the province, but larger Category 2 and Category 3 open fires are prohibited in some areas, to reduce wildfire risks and protect public safety.