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Culliton fire near Squamish reduced to smoke

Backcountry users encouraged to be diligent in putting out campfires

The Culliton Creek fire has been reduced to basically just smoke.

Spokesperson Bob Cunneyworth said the fire that topped out at about 26 hectare in size now has what he called "low fire behaviour" after a week of attention from a crew on the ground with air support.

"There's been no growth for a few days with cooler temperatures and higher humidity," said Cunneyworth from his office at Alice Lake Provincial Park.

The forest fire was burning in steep rocky terrain 15 km northeast of Squamish inside Garibaldi Provincial Park. Ground crews were initially sent in on Friday, Aug. 17 to tackle the blaze with support from air tankers and helicopters dropping water from buckets.

Members of the Salish unit crew based in Pemberton were first on the blaze, which was started by lightning and took a few days to develop into a full fire. Smoke from the fire was visible through the weekend in Squamish and from Highway 99 south of the Daisy Lake Dam.

Cunneyworth said there are currently 30 fires burning in the Coastal Fire Centre region and one of them is near the Birkenhead Forest Service Road. According to Cunneyworth, there are no concerns with the small fire and a crew is actively on it.

The Birkenhead fire is one of ten spot fires Cunneyworth is monitoring with other fire officials in the Pemberton region.

Forest fire officials are encouraging backcountry users to be very careful for the next few days.

"Be careful in the backcountry, especially with campfires," said Cunneyworth. "If anyone spots a forest fire we are encouraging them to report it by calling star 5555 on their cellular phone," Cunneyworth said.

The toll-free number to call from a landline is 1-800-663-5555.

The fire danger for the Sea to Sky corridor as of Tuesday afternoon was rated as high to extreme with the forecast calling for rain in Whistler on Friday and a mix of sun and cloud through the weekend.