April 27, 2016 3:34 pm
Updated: April 27, 2016 3:35 pm

North Shore prepares as B.C. reaches 167 wildfires this year

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With 167 fires already in the 2016 wildfire season, the North Shore Interface Wildfire Working Group showcased how they are preparing themselves in case of a fire.

The group showcased some of the equipment such as response vehicles and fire sprinklers.

“On the North Shore we actually have an interface wildfire risk, and we every year prepare to be able to respond to that risk,” says Dorit Mason, director of North Shore Emergency Management.

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A fire is defined as “interface” when it has the potential to involve buildings and wildland or vegetation at the same time.

During the annual Show and Shine event, different fire organizations get together to learn from the different equipment used for structure fires and wildfires.

READ MORE: 300-hectare fire burning west of Quesnel

“Every year we are probably going to have issues with more and more heat and drought and wildfire conditions so we do this every year. It’s not a special event that we are doing, it’s just us getting together and preparing for the wildfire season,” said Mason.

Seventy fires remain active in the province as of April 27.

Mason says sharing information and creating relationships between the different fire departments are some of the main objectives.

Ryan Turcot with B.C. Wildfire Service says only four of the 167 fires were caused by lightning; which means the vast majority were human-caused.

READ MORE: Evacuations in northeastern BC due to wildfires burning

Last year, by the end of September the province had spent more than $270 million dollars fighting wildfires.

During the 2014/2015 season the province spent close to $300 million.

“It’s our environment, we want to protect it, we are just doing something in case we have to respond to a fire,” says Mason.

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

For information on current wildfire activity or prohibitions visit http://www.bcwildfire.ca

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