Fire crews contain Nazko wildfire in B.C. Cariboo

Fire crews in B.C.'s Cariboo region say they have contained two wild fires near Nazko and 70 Mile house.

The fire was previously knocked down to 300 hectares from 1,000 hectares

The B.C. Wildfire Service says the province spent $287 million fighting wildfires in 2015, more than twice the 10-year average. (B.C. Wildfire Management Branch/Stock)

Fire crews in B.C.'s Cariboo region say they have contained two wildfires near Nazko and 70 Mile House, but they're concerned about an early start to the wildfire season.

The Nazko fire grew to 1,000 hectares and was knocked down to 300 hectares last week. Firefighters say they have also contained a 26-hectare fire southeast of 70 Mile house.

"It definitely is concerning to us that we have had so many wildfires already this season," said fire information officer Emily Epp. "It definitely is above what we usually see at this time of year."

Epp says the Cariboo has seen 39 human-caused fires already this spring. The province has restricted open fires in the area.

"We put in the prohibitions due to the amount of human-caused fires that we're seeing, as well as the drier conditions in the Cariboo," she said. 

"We had a lower snowpack than normal, and we saw things dry out as the snow melted early this year." 

Epp says it's too early to predict if it will be a bad year for fires in the Cariboo.

She says a lot depends on the amount of rain the region gets in June and how hot and dry the summer will be. 

With files from Brady Strachan