Lousy spring or not, wildfire risk a summer staple

Nelson is finally enjoying hot summer weather, but with the sunshine comes fire bans and increased forest fire risks.

Nelson is finally enjoying hot summer weather, but with the sunshine comes fire bans and increased forest fire risks.

The Southeast Fire Centre announced last week that all open fires are prohibited until further notice.

The ban specifically includes burning any waste, slash or other material. It also prohibits burning stubble or grass.

The use of fireworks or burning barrels of any size or description was further banned.

Fire information officer Karlie Shaughnessy said it’s difficult to predict what the summer holds for forest fire risk because it’s dependant on the weather.

“Long term weather models may give us an indication, but the weather can change a lot in just a couple days,” she said.

As of Wednesday, the fire risk for the Nelson area was rated at low or very low.

Shaughnessy said  this year’s high snow pack and wet spring would have little effect on the outcome of the fire season.

“Since April 1 crews responded to 18 wildfires, which together burned 28 hectares,” she said. “Last year at this time we responded to 31 wildfires.”

Currently there are no wildfires burning in the area.

“We are ready. All our crews are trained and as things heat up we will send them out,” she said.

If it turns out to be a higher than anticipated wildfire season, Shaughnessy said they will request crews from other areas.

For the latest information on wild fire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories visit bcforestfireinfo.gov.bc.ca