An open fire ban affecting the Vanderhoof Forest District was lifted last week following several days of sustained rainfall.
Although burning conditions have been deemed safe for the time being, Wildfire Management Branch officials urge the public to exercise caution and vigilance when having open fires.
Overall, the district’s forests fared well from wildfires in 2012, but experienced a rise in small blazes caused by lightning strikes, said Mike Pritchard, forest protection officer for the Vanderhoof and Fort St. James Fire Zone.
Since April 1, 2012, crews from the Prince George Fire Centre responded to 364 wildfires, less than half of which were caused by humans and underwent special investigations by compliance enforcement staff to identify negligence.
Several investigations, some involving possible fines, won’t be completed until mid-winter, said Pritchard.
In the next few weeks, Pritchard expects to release a summary report of all fires that required a response by district personnel in 2012.
The report includes information about fire locations, sizes and causes, as well as details about who responded to each incident and whether or not firefighting costs are recoverable.