Firefighters extinguish wildfire near remote northern B.C. community

BC Wildfire Service says the fire is suspected to be human-caused and warns the public to be cautious


Air tanker skimmer groups were pulling water from Kitsumkalum Lake in northern B.C. Wednesday to battle a fire near the community of Rosswood, which is home to about 150 people.

The fire is next to the Nisga’a Highway, which is the only road in and out for four Nisga’a communities.

“The S Douglas FSR wildfire (R51137) is currently estimated at 50 hectares,” the BC Wildfire Service said in an emailed statement.

“Currently fire behaviour observed on this wildfire is Rank 1, which indicates a smoldering ground fire. There is no current threat to structures.”

They believe the fire to be human-caused and warned the public to be cautious.

“The cause of the wildfire is under investigation, but is suspected to be human caused,” the statement added. “Human caused wildfires are avoidable, and pull resources away from other incidents. The BC Wildfire Service would like to remind the public to be cautious in all outdoor activities.”

A 36-personnel will remain at the site along with a helicopter as they continue to work to extinguish the fire fully.

There were 59 active wildfires reported in the province on Wednesday, with 19 starting in the last two days.

The majority of fires are in the central and southern regions of the province.

This year, more than half of B.C. wildfires were suspected to be caused by lightning. More than 40 per cent were human-caused, and the rest were unknown.

The risk of more fires remains high as August weather conditions remain hot and dry.

Mike Farnworth, B.C.’s minister of public safety, warned that anyone under an evacuation order should leave immediately and suggested other residents get prepared.

“If you have not already done so, now is the time to take 20 minutes out of your day and put together an emergency plan, including putting together and packing a grab-in-go bag with all necessities if your situation changes suddenly,” he said.

Video Journalist / Kitimat Village, B.C.

Lee is a video journalist with APTN News, who shoots, reports and edits stories out of northern British Columbia. As a member of the Haisla Nation, Lee is proud to call Kitimat Village home again after living on Vancouver Island for 18 years. He has a passion for storytelling and looks forward to sharing stories through the lens of First Nations people.