Public remided to use caution in areas burned by wildfires

Post-wildfire areas have own set of hazards

The 2018 wildfire season has been one of the worst in B.C.’s history, and some areas of the province have been left severely damaged.

Hunters, recreationalists and anyone else heading into the woods should take care when travelling regions hit by fires since there may be safety hazards to watch for.

These hazards could include fire-damaged trees that aren’t stable and can fall over without warning; ash pits, which may be hard to notice and can stay hot long after the flames have died down are also something to look out for.

Unstable soils and terrain, increased chance of landslides or rock falls and damaged trails or irregular trail surfaces could also spell disaster for those who aren’t careful.

Increased water runoff could lead to flooding or debris flows and damaged fencing, which could allow livestock to enter roadways are also possible in areas damaged by wildfires.

In places that have been badly burned, post-wildfire risks may last for two years or more; however, the increased risk of floods or debris flows in severely burned areas can last a lot longer.

Every year, post-wildfire hazard assessments are done on major wildfires to find possible threats to public safety, buildings or infrastructure—risk relief and rehabilitation planning are already being done in some regions.

The BC Wildfire Service reminds the public they also need to use extreme care in areas where fires are still burning. Wildfires are active worksites where fire suppression efforts may be ongoing.

If smoke is rising from the inside of a fire’s perimeter and the area is surrounded by black, burned material, this is usually not a concern; however, smoke rising from green, unburned fuel or from outside a fire’s perimeter should be reported right away.

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 5555 on a cellphone or 1 800 663-5555 toll-free.

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