Human activity triggers four fires near Ross River

Abandoned campfires have triggered four wildfires so far this season in the Ross River area, including three in the last four days.

Abandoned campfires have triggered four wildfires so far this season in the Ross River area, including three in the last four days.

That has the territory’s wildland fire department reminding people to be vigilant when it comes time to put out their fires.

“Fires of this nature are dangerous, totally preventable and incidents that could have resulted in a much more serious situation if not for the quick action of firefighters,” said Yukon duty officer Mike Sparks in a statement.

A small fire was found burning Wednesday evening at the Ross River sewage lagoon, 1.9 kilometres northwest of the community. Three firefighters responded and put it out.

The day before, Yukon Wildland Fire Management put out two similar fires, one near the Ross River Airport and another about 6.5 kilometres away.

On June 5 a small fire was put out near the townsite.

Fire information officer George Maratos said abandoned campfires are the leading cause of human-caused fires in the territory.

Normally those fires are put out quickly, but that’s not always the case.

The massive Fox Lake fire in 1998, that ended up burning 45,000 hectares and costing $2 million to put out, began as an abandoned campfire, Maratos said.

Yukoners are being asked to ensure their campfires are monitored at all times. When putting out the flames, douse the fire with water, stir and repeat until it is cold to the touch.

Wildfires should be reported to 1-888-798-FIRE (3473).

This most recent fire was the 30th in the territory this season. A total of 15,280 hectares have burned as a result.

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