One of two small wildfires that flared up in the Merritt area over the past 24 hours has been extinguished.

Culminating at a mere .01 hectares in size, the Dot Ranch wildfire near Highway 8 has been crossed of the BC Wildfire Service’s list of approximately 14 wildfires currently burning across the province.

The other, active fire is located near Spences Bridge. It is measured at .15 hectares in size and is now classified as “under control,” said Jodie Lucius, fire information officer with the BC Wildfire Service.

“So we don’t expect further growth on that,” she said, adding three officers were on site yesterday to control the blaze.

“It is expected to be human-caused but we don’t have any details about what that cause would be yet,” she added.

The commencement of fire season in the Nicola Valley does not come as a surprise to Lucius, who noted it is not uncommon to start seeing fires this time of year.

“That said, because we did not have a lot of snow in a lot of areas throughout the Kamloops fire centre it is dry out there, especially in the valley bottoms,” she said, adding residents will likely see more fire activity in those dry areas.

British Columbians should also be on alert hot spots from overwintering fires, which occur when a wildfire from the previous year has burned deep underground and continued to smoulder all winter long.

“Of course with the number of large and aggressive fires we saw last year across the province, overwintering fires are a possibility,” said Lucius. “That said, it is not something guaranteed and it really depends on the individual fire and what kind of weather and moisture there is in that particular area.”