The Thompson Nicola Regional District is urging caution heading into the B.C. Day long weekend, with conditions prime for wildfires.
TNRD emergency program co-ordinator Kevin Skrepnek said the regional district has been in close contact with BC Wildfire Service. He said extremely hot recent weather, unstable weather forecasts that could bring lightning and more people exploring the backwoods create a concerning potential.
“We’re keeping a close eye on things,” Skrepnek said.
Kamloops in particular has had a relatively wet summer to this point. Skrepnek said that doesn’t mean the region is out of the woods with respect to wildfire season.
Similar to gardens and flower pots in Kamloops, grasslands in the region have also grown lush. More grass and vegetation means more potential fuel, he said, should it all dry out in hot weather.
“It’s a bit of a double-edged sword,” Skrepnek said.
Another concern is around complacency, Skrepnek said.
The start to the 2020 wildfire season in B.C. has been slow. According to Skrepnek, the message is for those who will be in the backcountry or camping to be careful. If a fire is spotted, they are asked to contact BC Wildfire Service at 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on a cell phone.
Residents are also asked to sign up for a new regional district alert system, which can be done online at tnrd.ca/voyent-alert.
About 400 people have signed up so far, Skrepnek said. A provincial alert system goes to homes automatically, but the regional district system requires registration.