No action on Mt. Robson Fire

No action on Mt. Robson Fire

12 July 2006

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A helicopter surveys a fire in Mount Robson Park near the east end of Moose Lake. 
The fire is in an area where park managers have decided to let fires do their thing.

Valemount, BC, Canada — Firefighters won’t be battling a 12-hectare blaze in Mount Robson unless it puts other values at risk. A relatively small blaze started by a lightning strike in Mount Robson Provincial Park on Tuesday, July 4, the fire is located at the west end of Moose Lake at high elevation.

A spotter plane and two helicopters were on scene within 20 minutes of the strike to check it out, but they took no action. The burn is in a part of the park classified as ‘let burn.’ In twenty minutes time, the plume of smoke was very much visible from the Mount Robson Café.

Robson Valley Fire Zone Forest Protection Officer Bob Gray said that they are monitoring the fire. 

“We have a plan set out. Once it hits our trigger points, we will implement another step,” he said.

He said that the fire is in a good location. “There is some room for it to move in there,” he said. 

He said that there are a lot of very heavy draws and slide chutes, which would most likely contain the fire on the north facing slopes of the mountain range.

“If we get two inches of rain tonight, it will be out. We have eight more weeks in the burning period. I wouldn’t be surprised if it went to 10 or 15,000 hectares,” said Gray on Saturday. 

Gray said they would fight the fire if it put any values at risk.

Terry Cinnamon runs Mount Robson Whitewater Rafting, and while he is opposed to prescribed burns during the tourist season, he is happy to see parks let this natural fire go. 

“I agree with parks, because it is a natural occurrence,” he said. “If a forest fire starts due to natural causes, it must mean conditions are ideal. As long as it doesn’t threaten public safety, let it go.”

“I’ll be there with my wiener roasting stick,” joked Cinnamon.


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