An aerial view of a forest fire burning on a small island in the north arm of Stuart Lake.

Lightning sparks fires in area

Lightning last weekend sparked a few fires in the region, with two in the Fort St. James area.

Lightning last weekend sparked a few fires in the region, with two in the Fort St. James area.

A small spot fire on Mount Dickinson, measuring approximately 10 m by 10 m, was responded to by two crews July 14 in a helicopter.

Once the crews determined there was no landing site for a helicopter close to the fire, they used a quad for access and one crew then was on the fire by the evening, and they worked until late into the night to ensure the fire would not spread overnight and returned early the next morning.

While there was no water on site, the crew used water tanks until a medium helicopter assisted with buckets on July 15.

The fire was called out by 2 p.m on July 15.

The second fire in the area is being monitored and is on an island at the north end of Stuart Lake.

The fire is approximately one hectare in size, but is being left as a modified response fire, which is being watched. With no values at risk on the island and crews needed for higher priority fires, the island fire with little risk of spreading will not likely be actioned by crews unless something changes.

In total, the Prince George Fire Centre responded to nine fires on the weekend of July 14 and 15, all which were caused by lightning.

The largest of the fires was 2.5 hectares in size. Five of the fires were in  mop-up or patrol stages, with four having been called out.

The fire centre responded to nine more fires from July 16-19, with the largest fire reaching 130 hectares in size.

Eight of the fires are believed to have been caused by lightning, while one is still under investigation.

Four of the nine fires during the week were out as of Thursday, while five were in mop-up, patrol stages or under modified response.

There are two fires of note in the region, one being the Pesh fire in the Fort Nelson Zone which was 5,800 hectares, and one was the Kotcho Lake fire which was at 1,800 hectares as of Thursday.

Both fires are being actively monitored.

Fire danger rating in the Prince George Fire Centre is between medium and high with Category 2 and 3 burning and fireworks being prohibited until further notice.

To check the latest burn notices and restrictions, go to: http://bcwildfire.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/Bans.asp

Most of the smoke in the area is believed to be coming from two large fires in the Fort Nelson area and from the Northwest Territories and Alberta based on wind patterns, according to the fire centre.

The smoke is thicker in the Fort Nelson and Fort St. John areas, and anyone needing air quality readings can go to: http://www.bcairquality.ca/readings/index.html

The Prince George Fire Centre said the public has been very helpful by reporting wildfires in the area, and anyone who sees one should continue to call *5555 on their cell phone or 1-800-663-5555.

You can follow the latest B.C. wildfire news:

On Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/BCGovFireInfo

On Facebook: http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo

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