Forest fire danger remains despite recent rain

Clearwater Fire Zone tackles fires near Murtle Lake and Dudgeon Creek, plus five smaller blazes

Smoke rises from a 20 ha forest fire east of Murtle Lake on Friday morning of last week. As of Monday it was 100 per cent contained.

Smoke rises from a 20 ha forest fire east of Murtle Lake on Friday morning of last week. As of Monday it was 100 per cent contained.

Recent heavy rains have dampened the surface fuels within Clearwater Fire Zone, but the deep duff and larger fuels are still dry, according to forest protection officer Jim Jones.

Despite the wetter weather, the two three-person Initial Attack crews assigned to the fire zone were busy.

“Our crews have been on the go every day,” Jones said.

The constant pace has meant that a IA crew has been transferred in from Smithers to give the local crews a break.

As of Monday, the largest fire in the Fire Zone was a 20 ha blaze east of Murtle Lake.

The fire was just outside the boundary of Wells Gray Park, but the smoke was affecting traffic on the road to the lake.

Unlike most Forest Service roads, the road to Murtle Lake is not radio-controlled. Signs have been put up asking people to drive carefully.

As of Monday, a 20-person unit crew had the Murtle Lake fire 100 per cent contained. A 200 foot wide secure strip around the perimeter was expected to be established by the end of the day. The lightning-caused fire was discovered on Aug. 12.

Fast action by a logging crew that was on-site is being credited with limiting the size of a fire near South Dudgeon Creek near the Adams River to 1.9 ha.

BC Forest Service received a call reporting the fire at 3 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 14.

The fire was in a felled and bucked cut-block. Cause is still under investigation.

Besides the Murtle and South Dudgeon fires, Clearwater Fire Zone was handling five other fires, all in the northern section around Blue River and Raft River.

Three involved rappel crews, while two others were being attacked using IA crews on the ground.

 

All were lightning-caused.

 

 

Clearwater Times

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