A huge smoke blume can been seen from Burns Lake as the China Nose fire spreads rapidly.

A huge smoke blume can been seen from Burns Lake as the China Nose fire spreads rapidly.

Fire activity in the Northwest grows.

New fires pop up and current fires increase in size as forest fire activity grows worse.

  • Aug. 13, 2014 2:00 p.m.

Current forest fires continue to grow in size and a couple of new forest fires have popped up in the Northwest Fire Centre’s region as temperatures climbed into the low 30s in Burns Lake early this week.

There are now five current fires over 10 hectares burning in the Northwest Fire Centre’s region after the discovery of a new fire five miles West of China Nose Mountain, which is located 15 km South of Houston.

The China Nose fire joins the Chelaslie River fire, the Eutsuk Lake fire, the Blunt Creek fire and the Deadwood Lake fire as the five fires that are burning in the Northwest.

The fires at Deadwood Lake and Eutsuk Lake have remained under control by firefighters in the region and remain at 1600 and 3750 hectares of area burned respectively, while being fought with a modified response by firefighters.

The Blunt Creek fire has been contained and is now in the mop up faze.

There are 323 firefighters, 25 helicopter units and 20 heavy equipment crew units fighting the fire, and it is anticipated that the fire will continue to grow on the Northern flank due to the windy weather conditions.

As well, an area closure order was issued by the Wildfire Management Branch which encompasses the area from the Kluskus forest service road of the Natalkuz 500 Road, South and West of the Kluskus forest service road into the Vantine, Malaput and Chedekuz areas.

A checkpoint to restrict access has been established at 92.5 km on the Kluskus forest service road and the Red Road is closed at 77.5 km.

The Northwest Fire Centre has responded to 17 fires since Aug.4, eight of those fires were caused by campfires being left unattended.

Due to the hot, dry weather that has been forecasted and a fire danger rating of ‘extreme’ in most parts of the region, the Northwest Fire Centre has issued a fire ban effective as of 4 p.m. on Aug. 4 in the Nadina and Bulkley Fire Zones, as well as the Skeena Fire Zone, excluding the former North Coast District.

The following activities are ban: campfires, category two and three open fires, outdoor stoves and other portable campfire apparatuses that aren’t CSA or ULC approved, tiki torches, burn barrels, fireworks and sky lanterns.

Campfires are classified by the Wildfire Management Branch as an open fire that burns piled material no larger than half a metre in height and width and is used by any person for recreational purposes or by First Nations for ceremonial purposes.

Category two open fires are classified as an open fire, excluding a campfire, that burns piled material no larger than two metres in height and three metres in width on grass area less than 2000 square metres in size.

Category three open fires are classified as an open fire, excluding a campfire, that burns piled material larger than two metres in height and three metres in width on windrows or grass area larger than 2000 square metres.

The ban is in effect until Sept. 15 or until the public is otherwise notified.

Anyone found in violation of the ban faces a $345 fine or if convicted in court a fine of up to $100,000 and one year in prison.

If the fire causes or contributes to a forest fire, the persons responsible are subjected to a fine of up to $10,000 and will be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

To report a wildfire call toll free at 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 from a cellphone.

Burns Lake Lakes District News