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Out of control wildfire burning near Kitwanga

The BC Wildfire Service believes the fire burning on the Gitwangak Reserve was human-caused
Wildfire burns on Snake Hill near Kitwanga. (Screen capture/Jacob Beaton video/Facebook)

The Northwest has seen its first out of control wildfire of the season near Kitwanga.

The fire was discovered April 16 and as of Monday was estimated to cover one hectare and was burning out of control, according to the B.C. Wildfire Service (BCWS).

The BCWS said it believes the fire, which is on Snake Hill within the Gitwangak Reserve, was human-caused.

Another fire just up the road on Hwy 37, which covered approximately 16 hectares as of Monday was “being held” according to service.

READ MORE: Open fire ban starts Friday

Wildfire danger prompted the service to institute a ban last week on Category 2 and 3 fires in the Northwest.

“Despite the current cooler temperatures throughout the region, relative humidity levels are low throughout areas of the NWFC,” a press release stated. “Gusting winds, little precipitation and a warming trend is in the long-term forecast and are the trigger points for this pro-active open fire prohibition.”

Category 2 open fires are: a) material in 1 or 2 piles not exceeding 2-metres in height and 3-metres in width, or b) stubble or grass burning over an area that does not exceed 0.2 hectares.

Category 3 fires include: a) any fire larger than 2-metres high by 3-metres wide, b) three or more concurrently burning piles no larger than 2-metres high by 3-metres wide, c) one or more burning windrows, or d) stubble or grass burning over an area greater than 0.2 hectares.

The BCWS is warning people that if their burning results in a wildfire they could be found responsible for the government’s fire control costs and any related damages to Crown resources. In addition, administrative penalties can run up to $100,000 for transgressions of regulations in the Wildfire Act and Regulation.

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Thom Barker

About the Author: Thom Barker

After graduating with a geology degree from Carleton University and taking a detour through the high tech business, Thom started his journalism career as a fact-checker for a magazine in Ottawa in 2002.
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