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Posted: August 24, 2020

New fire reported near Spur Valley Sunday

The BC Wildfire Service August 24 reports a new fire north of Kindersley Creek, about 1.2 km from Spur Valley, was discovered Sunday, August 23.

The estimated .04-hectare fire is believed to be caused by lightning.

The province’s largest wildfire continues 25 km southwest of Canal Flats.

The Doctor Creek fire remains at about 3,071 ha.

“Ground crews continue to work with the support of heavy equipment and aviation resources today. Crews continue to construct control lines north and south of Doctor Creek with support from small planned ignitions operations to reinforce lines. Helicopters continue to bucket water on the fire to help cool areas of increased activity. Suppression efforts are currently concentrated on the east flank of the fire,” BC Wildfire Service reports.

“There was limited growth on the fire yesterday. Fire behaviour on the active fire front has been rank 2-3 in the last couple days. This means a low to moderately vigorous fire that burns in the surface fuel layer on the forest floor, but below the tree crowns with occasional candling of trees. Rank 2-3 fire behaviour generally has a slow to moderate rate of spread. Increased winds are forecasted this afternoon into the evening which have the potential to increase fire behaviour.”

An Evacuation Order remains in effect for the Findlay Creek drainage and area.

Doctor Creek Fire. BCWS photo

And in order to support the response efforts and to protect the safety of the public and firefighting personnel, an area restriction is in effect for the Doctor Creek wildfire.

Smoke from this fire has been settling into the valleys overnight and is presenting a challenge to visibility for morning aviation operations. Crews have made good progress on the guard south of Doctor Creek. Structure protection systems are in use near the fire as a precautionary measure.

“Yesterday afternoon (August 23), a helicopter that was conducting bucketing operations for the Doctor Creek wildfire neared the Columere Park Beach on Columbia Lake. This incident took place while the pilot was attempting to pick up water and experienced a mechanical malfunction with the helicopter bucket. Residents and recreationalists in the Columere Park area may have experienced strong downwash winds as a result. The BC Wildfire Service is investigating the incident.”

BC Wildfire Service has the same resources fighting the fire as August 23, with 82 firefighters, seven helicopters and five pieces of heavy equipment.

BC Wildfire Service’s wildfire dashboard reports five other fires still on the books in the east Kootenay, with all of them under control, including: Dunbar Creek (2.4 ha) near Brisco; Skookumchuck Creek (.01 ha); Kootenay River (4.9) near Wasa; Stirton Road (3.5 ha) near Marysville; and Joseph Creek (.2 ha), east of Moyie.

Lead image: The Doctor Creek fire. BC Wildfire Service photos


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