B.C. wildfire crews tackle, contain two small wildfires burning in Southern Interior

Two new wildfires sparked to life in the Southern Interior this week, but B.C. Wildfire Service crews were quick to tackle and contain them.

Both fires are small in size and believed to have started sometime Tuesday.

One fire is located northeast of Merritt, approximately 23 kilometres northeast of the junction of the Coquihalla Highway and Highway 97. The fire, which is burning alongside Highway 5A, is around six hectares in size and is classified as “being held.”

The B.C. Wildfire Service says three personnel were on scene Wednesday performing patrols, and that the public alerted BCWS about the fire on Tuesday evening. BCWS suspects the fire is human caused.

The other fire is on the outskirts of Lytton, along the Trans-Canada Highway, and is just 0.4 hectares in size.

BCWS says the fire is classified as “under control,” and that three personnel were on site Wednesday performing patrols.

Since April 1, there have been 269 fires in B.C., including 10 in the last seven days. Of those 269 fires, 44 per cent are listed as being person caused, with nearly 13 per cent attributed to lightning. The rest, about 43 per cent, have an unknown cause.

Concerning active fires, the Prince George Fire Centre currently has the most active fires at eight, with the Kamloops Fire Centre next with seven. The Northwest and Southeast regions both have five, with just one in the Coastal region, a 20-hectare blaze that’s being held on an island around 25 kilometres northeast of Campbell River.

With hot weather in the forecast this week, along with a chance of dry lightning, BCWS is reminding the public to be vigilant with any activities that pose a risk to starting a wildfire. BCWS is also encouraging the public to call in wildfires at 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on cellphones.

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