A wildfire has broken out near Kitimat in northwest B.C. and has now been classified as “out of control” by the BC Wildfire Service after growing from 15 to 40 hectares. The wildfire has roughly 40 firefighters and two helicopters fighting to contain it as it continues to burn by former logging operations.
Kitimat’s fire chief Trent Bossence told The Narwhal the The Bish Creek wildfire is burning by an important logging area that is commonly used by locals for recreational activities. Firefighters suspect that the wildfire was caused by human activity.
UPDATE: Due to more accurate mapping & overnight spread, the Bish Creek wildfire, located ~10 kms SW of Kitimat, has grown to 40 has. 38 firefighters & 2 helicopters w/ buckets are on-site. #BCWildfire is asking the public to avoid the area to ensure personnel & public safety. pic.twitter.com/0zFW4tsVyB
— BC Wildfire Service (@BCGovFireInfo) May 12, 2020
“It’s definitely a fairly aggressive fire. There was a lot of smoke and it did seem to move fairly quickly once it got going,” said Kitimat’s fire chief, Trent Bossence. “It was started in an area where there was no logging activity or no building activity, so we’re confident it wasn’t caused by construction work or logging operations,” he said, adding there were no storms or reports of lightning. “We can only assume that it was caused by other means of human activity.”
Bossence says that due to COVID-19 restrictions limiting access to provincial parks, more people have been visiting the Bish Creek area this year. He added that old, dry logs left behind in cutblocks by logging companies may have fueled the fire or contributed to its growth.
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