Fires burning north of Pemberton

No current threat to nearby communities; public asked to exercise caution in area

The B.C. Wildfire Management Branch is monitoring two forest fires burning north of Pemberton along the Birkenhead Lake Forest Service Road totaling 21 hectares.

The fires were discovered on Sunday morning (Aug. 19), said Marg Drysdale, fire information officer with the Coastal Fire Centre.

The larger of the two fires covers an area of 20 hectares and is located above the Birkenhead River to the west, said Drysdale. That status of that fire is currently listed as "expanded attack," she added.

"They're getting crews in on it and they're working on that fire," she said.

The smaller fire, located towards Chipmunk Mountain, is one hectare in size. Both fires were sparked by lightning strikes within the past several days.

Neither fire is currently posing a threat to nearby communities, said Drysdale. However, since the region is a popular spot for backcountry recreation, she suggested people avoid the area for the time being.

"If we do have a fire in the area, that becomes Wildfire Management's work site. Generally, people who aren't park of the work should stay away, it's unsafe to be anywhere near that area," she said. "What we're doing currently is working out exactly what trails go through that area. Then, we'll be better able to let people know exactly what the safest course of action is if they're going up into that area."

Drysdale added that the current hazy conditions in the Sea to Sky corridor are a cumulative effect of fires burning locally and internationally, as fires in Washington and Siberia have also brought smoke into the region.

People are asked to call 1-800-663-5555 and make a report if they see a column of smoke, as Wildfire Management officials are anticipating more "holdover fires," created by lightning strike, to pop up over the next few days, said Drysdale.

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