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Wildfires still a concern in B.C. Southern Interior

Sept. 1, 2015, Kamloops, B.C. - Cool, wet weather hasn't dramatically reduced the number of wildfires burning across British Columbia but has allowed officials to rescind all but one, partial campfire ban.

Provincial fire information officer Ryan Turcot said Monday that 169 wildfires were burning across the province, down from 177 reported earlier in the day.

He said the Kamloops and Southeast fire centres have rescinded their campfire bans, meaning fires up to a half-metre wide by a half-metre high are now permitted in all six fire centres, except for sections of the Cariboo.

He said campfires in the Cariboo are permitted east of the Fraser River but remain prohibited west of the waterway.

"For the most part it's fair to say the fire-danger rating is going down due to the weather,'' said Turcot. "The rescinding of the campfire bans in the Kamloops and Southeast fire centres reflects that.''

Open fires, meaning fires larger than a campfire, industrial burning, fireworks, sky lanterns and burn barrels, are allowed only in the Northwest and Prince George fire centres.

Use of Forest Service roads is now unrestricted across the province, except for some areas of the Southeast fire centre.

The BC Wildfire Service continues to restrict areas around the Big Sheep Creek wildfire, which is burning west of Rossland.

The Seven Summits trail at the intersection of Red Resort to the intersection at the Old Cascade Highway remains closed but is open from the Nancy Greene Summit to Red Mountain Resort, it added.

The BC Wildfire Service on Monday lifted restrictions on the Caven, Wickman, Larch, Bloom, and Teepee/Jim Creek Forest Service roads.

Evacuation alerts were lifted over the weekend in the Grand Forks and Christina Lake areas although Turcot said the nearby Stickpin wildfire close to the border in Washington state is still uncontrolled.

Canadian crews have been building guards on the northern flank of the 210-square-kilometre fire and Turcot said units protecting structures were wrapping up and returning to Canada.

Firefighters were also able to fully contain the human-caused Little White Mountain fire, which charred two-square kilometres of bush south of Kelowna.

September 1, 2015
By The Canadian Press