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Wildfire sparks near Chetwynd, B.C.

This map from the BC Wildfire Service shows 92 wildfires in the province on Feb. 25, 2024. (Image credit: BC Wildfire Service website) This map from the BC Wildfire Service shows 92 wildfires in the province on Feb. 25, 2024. (Image credit: BC Wildfire Service website)

An out-of-season wildfire is burning out of control north of Prince George, according to the BC Wildfire Service.

The Hasler Flats wildfire was discovered Friday morning about 30 kilometres southwest of Chetwynd and 200 kilometres northeast of Prince George.

The eight-hectare blaze is classified as "out of control," meaning it's "continuing to spread and is not responding to suppression efforts," according to the BCWS website.

Firefighters consider the blaze to be human caused, and they're giving it a "full" response. Its size is estimated at eight hectares. 

"The BC Wildfire Service uses a full response when there is threat to public safety and/or property and other values, such as infrastructure or timber. Immediate action is taken. During a full response, a wildfire is suppressed and controlled until it is deemed 'out,'" the BCWS website reads.

There was no indication online over the weekend of how many firefighters or other resources were involved in the fight. CTV News has reached out to the wildfire service for more information.

There are currently 92 active wildfires in the province, almost all of which are holdover fires from last year’s record breaking season which are classified as “being held,” meaning they are not likely to spread.

Eighty-nine of the blazes are in the Prince George fire centre, where the province’s largest forest region is located, and which has a total area of 33.6 million hectares. The wildfire service describes it as “largely rugged and remote.”

Premier David Eby said last week that he is “profoundly worried” about what the coming fire season will bring, saying this is why the budget includes $106 billion in contingency funds over the next three years.

“We are in the most severe category of drought in many different parts of the province, especially in the northeast. We had a record number of fires burning underneath the snow in the province, about 100 fires in January that we hadn't seen before and we're expecting this to be quite a terrible fire and drought season,” he said.

“We spent a billion dollars fighting forest fires last fire season and we're expecting this fire season to be even worse, so contingencies enable us to respond to those kinds of emergencies, as well as other issues that may arise during the year.”

With files from The Canadian Press Top Stories

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