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Southeast Fire Centre brings in six extra crews to fight forest fires in region

The Wildfire Management Branch is deploying six additional Initial Attack Crews from around the province to help suppress multiple lightning-caused wildfires in the Southeast Fire Centre.

All but one of the 47 active wildfires in the Southeast Fire Centre were caused by lightning. The majority of them are small, spot-sized wildfires and none of the fires are currently threatening any communities or infrastructure.

The largest of these fires include:

• a 75-hectare fire 1.5 km east of the north arm of Duncan Lake

• a 22.6-hectare fire 35 km northeast of Revelstoke, near Jumping Creek

• a 12.5-hectare fire, north of the Wood River near Molson Creek

• a 16.6-hectare fire seven km east of Highway 23, between Revelstoke and the Mica Dam

• a seven-hectare fire 30 km northeast of Invermere, near the Albert River

• a seven-hectare fire 38 km north of Golden, near Waitabit Creek

• a seven-hectare fire 33 km northeast of Revelstoke, two km south of Highway 1.

There have been 115 lightning-caused wildfires over the past week with weather forecasts calling for more unsettled conditions.

The Southeast Fire Centre needs to focus its resources on these naturally occurring fires and asks the public to remain vigilant in its use of fire. There is currently no campfire prohibition in place in the Southeast Fire Centre, but fire wardens will be on patrol this weekend to carefully monitor campfire use and ensure that the public is abiding by all regulations.

Campfires must not be larger than 0.5 metres high by 0.5 metres wide (about 19 inches by 19 inches) and anyone who lights a campfire must have a shovel or at least eight litres of water nearby to completely extinguish the fire. Most importantly, the fire must never be left unattended.

A campfire prohibition may be put in place if weather conditions make that necessary or if the number of human-caused wildfires increases significantly.

The Fire Danger Rating is moderate to high throughout the Southeast Fire Centre, with pockets of extreme near Invermere and the Mica Dam.

As of Aug. 16, 243 wildfires have burned 415 hectares in the Southeast Fire Centre. Of those fires, 208 were caused by lightning and the rest were caused by people.

The Southeast Fire Centre would like to thank members of the public for their help reporting wildfires during the increased activity this past week and for their diligence with the safe use of campfires in this period of elevated fire danger. To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.