Public access restricted near Harrison Lake wildfire

WATCH:  Incidents at Harrison Lake over the past week have prompted the BC Wildfire Service to issue a plea to the public. Jeremy Hunka reports.

An area restriction remains in place around the wildfire burning near Harrison Lake.

The Wood Lake wildfire burning 20 kilometres north of Harrison Hot Springs now covers about 1,325 hectares and is 40 per cent contained.

Access in areas around the wildfire is forbidden for safety reasons and so that firefighting personnel can do their work more efficiently.

The BC Wildfire Service is urging the public to respect the access restrictions, after having to escort several groups of people out of the restricted area over the past week.

A map showing the areas around Harrison Lake restricted from public access. BC Wildfire Services

“When members of the public enter an area where a wildfire is burning or where fire suppression operations are in progress, they can put themselves, wildfire crews and others at risk.” said Fire Information Officer Jordan Turner in a media release.

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WATCH: Fire fighters plea with rogue campers not to ignore restrictions

Areas with active wildfires contain multiple hazards such as “danger trees” (trees with root systems that have been weakened by fire activity), heavy equipment in use and potentially unstable temporary access routes and fire guards.

Entering a restricted area without authorization can also contribute to delaying firefighting activities, which could allow the fire to grow and put more people at risk.

According to the BC Wildfire Service, safe fire suppression efforts depend on the support and understanding of the public.

Due to rising temperatures and decreasing relative humidity throughout the region, fire activity and smoke levels are expected to increase at the Wood Lake fire, which is believed to be human-caused.

BC Wildfire Service is also asking people to remain cautious and stay up to date on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories.


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