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NEWS RELEASE · 12th July 2010
Ministry of Forest and Range
While temperatures reach record highs and the fire danger levels increase to high or extreme, human carelessness was the cause of 13 of 32 new wildfires, Forests and Range Minister Pat Bell said.

"This is a concern as even one human-caused fire is too many," said Bell. "We are entering a critical period for wildfire activity in B.C. and fire crews must be available to manage naturally occurring fires caused by lightning."

Five of the six fire centres responded to human caused fires Thursday. Six of these occurred in the Prince George Fire Centre. While most of the fires were contained under one hectare and were not a threat to communities, the largest human-caused fire, near Dall Lake, approximately 140 kilometres east of Dease Lake, grew to 350 hectares.

Warm and dry conditions have caused the wildfire hazard to increase significantly this week. Over 62 per cent of the province's area is currently at a high or extreme fire danger rating, compared to 19 per cent the same time last week.

While many of the specific fire causes have not been determined, five were started by people burning debris. One was caused by a campfire. Even small fires can cause a wildfire, so it is important that people treat all fires, regardless of the size, with care and caution. Always take the proper steps to prevent your fire from escaping.

Since April 1, firefighters have responded to 402 fires around the province.

The Province reminds the public that burning restrictions are in place across B.C. Although small, contained campfires - 0.5 metres by 0.5 metres - are permitted, the public is reminded to have hand tools and at least eight litres of water nearby to fully extinguish them.

For the latest information on fire activity, bans and restrictions and current conditions, visit the Wildfire Management Branch website at www.bcwildfire.ca.