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Small out-of-control wildfire burning near Chetwynd, B.C.

Fire sparked Friday, believed to be human-caused
A map from BC Wildfire Service shows some of the 92 fires actively burning throughout the province as of Feb, 25. 2024, including an out-of-control one near Chetwynd, marked by a red dot. (BC Wildfire Service)

B.C. wildfire fighters are working to knock out a small out-of-control blaze in the province’s northeast, near the municipality of Chetwynd.

The Hasler Flats wildfire was discovered on Friday (Feb. 23) and has since grown to about 8 hectares in size.

It’s relatively small and not immediately threatening any communities, but the BC Wildfire Service has classified it as out-of-control, meaning it is continuing to spread and isn’t responding to suppression efforts.

The service says it believes the wildfire was human caused and says it is battling it with a “full response.”

The Hasler Flats fire is the only out-of-control wildfire currently burning in B.C., but it is far from the only active blaze. Another 91 wildfires are being tracked by the BC Wildfire Service, most of them remnants of last year’s record-breaking season.

Premier David Eby said Friday that he is “profoundly worried” about wildfires in B.C. He noted the serious drought conditions the province continues to face and expressed fear that the coming summer could be another difficult one.

Federal Emergency Preparedness Minister Harjit Sajjan also sounded the alarm last week.

“Early reporting suggests that this year’s wildfire season could be worse than the last.”

According to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, Canada saw 18.4 million hectares burn in 2023. Of them, about 2.84 million were in B.C.

READ ALSO: Canada bracing for the possibility of an even worse wildfire season

READ ALSO: Some ‘holdover’ 2023 B.C. wildfires still smouldering, showing smoke

Black Press Media Staff

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