B.C. Wildfire Service setting up precautionary 150-person camp in northern B.C.

BC Wildfire Service firefighters and independent local crews work together in this undated photo. B.C. Wildfire Service

The B.C. Wildfire Service is setting up a 150-person camp in northern B.C. in anticipation of the coming wildfire season.

Fire information officer Kyla Fraser said the province’s north remains the top concern early in the season.

READ MORE: 10,000 people forced out, 16 homes destroyed by Alberta wildfires

The entire northern half of the province was under a “high” fire danger rating on Friday, with vast swaths of the northwest and northeast rated as “extreme.”

B.C.’s fire danger rating as of May 31, 2019.
B.C.’s fire danger rating as of May 31, 2019. Province of British Columbia

“One of the concerns in the northwest right now has been holdover fires from last year,” she said.

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“Those, generally, are fires that burned very vigorously, very large in size, such as the Alkali Lake wildfire that’s close to the community of Telegraph Creek, and they’re currently experiencing hot spots rising on that fire.”

WATCH (Aug. 7, 2018): Dramatic images of Telegraph Creek wildfire

Click to play video 'Dramatic images of Telegraph Creek wildfire' Dramatic images of Telegraph Creek wildfire
Dramatic images of Telegraph Creek wildfire – Aug 7, 2018

The fire near Telegraph Creek grew to more than 118,000 hectares last August and forced the evacuation of the community. The fire continued to smoulder underground throughout the winter.

Fraser said the service was working to establish the new base camp at Dease Lake, which will include an incident management team who can develop a long-term response plan for the season and help with any fires that crop up in the area.

She said crews were hopeful, with forecasts showing some scattered showers in the north.

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READ MORE: Ground, air crews respond to multiple lightning-caused wildfires near Kamloops

Fraser said in the southern part of the province, conditions are expected to remain sunny and warm into next week.

Crews in the Kamloops fire centre were working to address several small lightning-caused fires near Kamloops Lake that cropped up Thursday along with multiple human-caused fires.

“Given that we might see some nice, warm and sunny conditions this weekend, we do want to remind people if you’re heading out to please be cautious with any activity that could potentially start a wildfire,” she said.