May 17, 2019 5:59 pm
Updated: May 17, 2019 6:10 pm

B.C. Wildfire Service: It may be a wet long weekend, but be fire smart

The provincial weather forecast for Friday, May 17, and the upcoming Victoria Day long weekend. Mark Madryga has more on what to expect.

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The wet weather currently rolling across B.C.’s Southern Interior is helping tamp down fire danger ratings.

Earlier this week, most of the Okanagan, Shuswap and Boundary regions were in the high danger rating. But thanks to recent rain, those ratings are now in the low or moderate range.

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According to the B.C. Wildfire Service, a low danger rating means fires may start easily and spread quickly but there will be minimal involvement of deeper fuel layers or larger fuels. A moderate rating means forest fuels are drying and there is an increased risk of surface fires starting.

Since April 1, there have been 176 fires across the province, 166 of which were human caused, or 94 per cent. Of the remaining 10, five were lightning caused with five under investigation.

WATCH BELOW (Aired May 7, 2019): British Columbians bracing for another bad wildfire season

A breakdowns of fires from April 1 to May 17, per region:

  • Northwest fire region: 23
  • Prince George fire region: 62
  • Cariboo fire region: 22
  • Coastal fire region: 27
  • Kamloops fire region: 30
  • Southeast fire region: 12

WATCH BELOW (Aired May 10, 2019): BC Government praying for rain

Kyla Fraser of the B.C. Wildfire Service says during spring, it’s common to see the majority of fires to be human caused.

“It’s a reminder that as people are heading out for the long weekend to do everything they can to prevent human-caused wildfires,” said Fraser. “Even though we’re seeing some cooler, wet conditions, there’s no reason to become careless with your fire usage.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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