British Columbia firefighting crews have been called in to help fight Yukon wildfires as temperatures heat up heading into the weekend across many regions of northwestern Canada.
Wildland Fire Information Officer Mike Fancie says fire crews remain focused on battling the Hunker Summit fire near Dawson City and the Pigue Creek Fire west of Mayo heading into the weekend.
Fancie says structure protection is high on the priority list as crews battle those two blazes.
"In both those locations, Wildland Fire Management crews are deploying structure protection where valued structures might potentially be at risk from those fires. We're currently assessing how we're going to be moving forward into the weekend. In some cases, we have heavy equipment that is being used to create controlled fire guards. In other situations, we're taking a close look at the downstream risks of long-term fire activity from the North Klondike Highway."
Fancie highlights placer mining areas and cabins as some examples of structure protection areas.
Fancie says the Swede Creek fire burning near Dawson is now under control.
"I'm happy to announce that at Swede Creek, the fire is under control at one hectare. There are no values currently at risk. We are returning today to complete a control and confirm the fire is properly out before we formally declare it out. Hopefully we'll be able to do that today."
Fancie says lightning-caused fires are one thing crews are keeping an eye out for as weather conditions change in the territory.
"When a lightning storm takes place, the immediate impacts in terms of new wildfires can take up to 14 days to become fully apparent. We're ensuring we have the resources in place to respond to those potential new wildfires. So far in the past week, at least in the Klondike, we've had at lease one wildfire caused by lightning."
Never leaving a campfire unattended and properly putting campfires out by soaking and stirring them until the ashes are cold to the touch are some precautions Fancie says Yukoners can take to help prevent wildfires in the territory.
Northwestern British Columbia
BC Wildfire Service Information Officer Carolyn Bartos says there are currently eight holdover fires and eight regular fires burning in the northwestern portion of British Columbia.
Bartos says some lightning passing through the Cassiar region of British Columbia recently created some small fire start-ups.
"We did have some lightning-start fires that recently moved through the Cassiar (region). They were all pretty small in nature and considered initial-attack fires. That being said, the spot fires are normally ten meters by ten meters (in size). They were all under one hectare. Right now, we don't have any of those left. We did have initial attack crews go out and suppress those fires."
Bartos says the seven of the holdover fires in the Cassiar region are associated with the 2018 Alkhali Lake Fire that burned through the community of Telegraph Creek last year.
Bartos highlights that crews remain on standby in northwestern British Columbia as the weather heats up heading into the weekend.
"We do anticipate that there are going to be warm and dry conditions moving through the Cassiar. The Northwest Fire Centre has crews on standby in case there are new fires on the landscape there."
There are have been 49 fires to date in northwestern British Columbia reported by the Northwest Fire Centre so far this year.
*This article is up-to-date as of 1:40 pm on July 5th, 2019.