Saturday, July 12, 2014

Hoping for the best, preparing anyways!

While we are all out enjoying the hot weather and swimming and whatever it is we love to do in BC at this time of year, we have dedicated professionals in this province preparing to look after us.

A reminder to everyone that the first thing you need to do if you spot a fire is call 1-800-663-5555.
How to Report a Wildfire
If you see a wildfire, please report it to us at 1-800-663-5555 or call *5555 toll free on most cellular networks.
Alternately, you can report a wildfire to 9-1-1.
What You'll Be Asked
When reporting a wildfire, a B.C. Forest Service operator will ask you:
  • your phone number
  • the location of the fire
  • what the fire is burning (trees? What species?)
  • the size of the fire
  • how quickly the fire is spreading
  • the colour of the smoke
  • whether there are values or lives at risk
The details that you provide are critical in determining the type of response that the fire will receive from fire suppression authorities. Your help is greatly appreciated as it helps us to allocate our resources more efficiently and respond quickly to wildfire activity

There is currently no campfire ban however there is an open burning ban.

If you have looked at the weather forecast it calls for 10 days  going forward with record temperatures predicted with low overnight recoveries.   Adding to this concern  is the high probability of experiencing a daily pattern of increased dry lightning and winds beginning around Sunday night forward. Finally, it’s important to remind ourselves that it is only July 11th, very early in the season and this coupled with a well forecasted El Nino influence that is expected to strengthen through the summer into fall could indicate a very long season. In short we all need to be aware and concerned. 

Today I heard from Interwest Timber who is moving to an early schedule & will be out of the bush by 1 pm.

Ryan Wainwright, our SLRD Emergency Program Manager is hoping the SLRD roof sprinkler program will be online next week.  I will let you know more about that as soon as its ready to go. Ryan has also been assessing staffing readiness.  Its good to know he's on it and thinking ahead...

The Wildfire Management Branch has stationed an Initial Attack Crew in Area A and has regular fire warden patrols.  I met Don on the Hurley early Wednesday!!!  

Hope everyone enjoys this wonderful weather, stays safe and careful!  

Friday, July 4, 2014

Initial Attack Crew stationed in the upper Bridge River Valley

Thanks to Verne Rasmussen for providing this Initial Attack Crew & related information, much appreciated by our community!

"With the increased fire danger rating I have now moved an Initial Attack Fire Crew to the Gold Bridge area.  We have secured accommodations in the Bralorne.  I will be rotating crews on a weekly basis.
Unless the weather changes significantly the crew will be stationed in the area till August 30th.  Their duties will be to respond to any fire that may occur plus regular traveling through the area to visit industrial operations and understand the lay of the land, to understand the available resources in the area....communicating FireSmart and greet the locals.  Feel free to sit down and have a discussion with my crews  about their roles.  All crews carry a diverse assortment of skills and experience.

For emergency communications it is still expected to follow the understood protocol.

  1. All wildfires are to be reported immediately using the 1800 663 5555.  This activates are system from the provincial level down to regional down to the zone to the crew.  This ensures all the appropriate resources are notified.  Failure to report a fire is an offence under the Wildfire Act.

I have also activated our Fire Wardens so you will see my Wardens in your area on a regular basis.  Currently these patrols will be a weekend patrol till the hazard changes.  Again their role is to patrol my high use /high risk areas. To ensure the campers out there are using fire appropriately, to communicate information and prevention tips, to extinguish abandoned campfires, to report these campfires, to gather information for the zone to generate violation reports to Compliance and Enforcement staff, and to again report all fires to dispatch immediately if further resources are required.  Feel free to meet and have a chat with the wardens as they have a wealth of knowledge and experience and probably a few good stories as well.

I have attached for your awareness an initial phone report and initial fire report that our 1 800 # and dispatchers use to relay info to fire officers and fire crews about a reported fire.  This info enables us to make a better informed decision on how we will resource a fire.  More info the better.

If you require more information or have any questions feel free to contact me at your convenience.  Enjoy your summer.  And remember put your campfire out when finished ."

Verne Rasmussen
Wildfire Management Branch
Forest Protection Officer
Lillooet Fire Zone  
Office 250 256 1400
Local 250 256 1401
Cell 250 256 1871
Fax 250 256 4367