Be safe this Labour Day

Don’t let the recent cooling off period fool you, the forest fire situation in the Northwest and throughout the province is still volatile.

Don’t let the recent cooling off period fool you, the forest fire situation in the Northwest and throughout the province is still volatile.

This past week, the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako rescinded all evacuation orders that had been issued for the China Nose Mountain fire, leaving only an evacuation alert for certain areas that are closest to the wildfire located 15 km Southeast of Houston.

This is a relief I’m sure to many, after the events of two weeks ago when there was a community meeting was held at the Island Gospal Fellowship church, and a great number of people were ordered to evacuate their homes and even more were put on evacuation alert.

The strong winds that were expected to accompany the cold front that was passing through Burns Lake and the area never materialized and fire fighting crews were able to have some success fighting the fire.

Despite the drop in temperatures and the small amount of rain that the area received these fires in the area are still very volatile.

The China Nose Mountain fire sits at approximately 3700 hectares in total area, and is only 40 per cent contained.

Crews continue 24 hour operations in order to contain the fire.

The Chelaslie River fire on the Southside near Tweedsmuir Park is one of the largest fires in the province, sitting at over 128,000 hectares in total area.

While it may seem like the fire situation is under control in the Northwest and in the province, it is not.

An additional 90 out of province firefighters were flown into Prince George last weekend to help with various fires in the province.

They join the 360 out of province firefighters that have already arrived and working to battle fires in the province and the 75 personnel that have flown in from Australia.

Forest fire fuels remain dry and easily combustible.

The province is already spending close to $4 million per day fighting fires and it is expected that the final bill at the end of the season for fire fighting costs will reach more than $250 million.

With the Labour Day long weekend coming up this weekend, campers and recreation and outdoor enthusiast need to be careful when they are vacationing this weekend.

With costs soaring, and resources spread thin, the last thing needed is man made forest fires to ignite causing the further spreading out of resources.

The campfire ban remains in affect for the Northwest Fire Centre, meaning that campfires, open category two and three fires, along with activities such as fireworks and tiki torches are banned.

As well, many outdoor stoves and portable campfire cooking apparatuses that are not CSA or ULC approved are banned.

As was noted in this column last week these firefighters that are out there battling these blazes to keep our communities safe and prevent damage to our properties have been putting in incredibly long hours all summer long.

This Labour Day weekend, let’s give them support the only way we can, by adhering to the campfire bans and ensuring that we are smart while camping and enjoying the outdoors.

The last thing all of us want is for more people to be put on an evacuation order, and the last thing this province needs is another forest fire draining our minimal resources.