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Posted: August 20, 2020

10 wildfires now burning in the region

A look at the Doctor Creek fire. BC Wildfire Service Photo

BC Wildfire Service today (August 20) reports 10 wildfires in the East Kootenay, including the expanding Doctor Creek fire, which has forced an evacuation order for the area from Doctor Creek to Findlay Creek, including Blue Lake Centre and Whitetail Lake.

Considered a ‘fire of note’ by BC Wildfire Service, the Doctor Creek fire, about 25 km west of Canal Flats, is now an estimated 400 ha and “displaying aggressive fire behaviour.

“This is a rapidly evolving situation and as such the estimated size of this fire is expected to increase as accurate mapping becomes available,” says BC Wildfire Service.

A 20-person crew is on the ground with heavy equipment en route. Response planning is underway. Discovered Aug. 18, the Doctor Creek fire was lightning caused.

Six new wildfires were discovered in the region yesterday, with three clustered in the Columbia Valley near Edgewater and Brisco, with one in the St. Mary Valley, another off Miller Road in Ta Ta Creek and one in the headwaters of Joseph Creek, southwest of Cranbrook. (See updates below.)

One new fire was discovered overnight in the Teepee Creek area, off Caven Creek FSR, about two km west of Kikomun/Newgate Road and Cutts Marina. The fire is an estimated .01 ha.

The fire in the Joseph Creek headwaters is classified as being held at an estimated one-tenth of a ha.

The St. Mary River fire, suspected as human-caused, is an estimated .19 ha. The fire is roughly 10.5 km from the west end of St. Mary Lake.

The Miller Road fire in Ta Ta Creek is classified as under control at .4 ha.

A look at the Dunbar Creek fire at 7:30 p.m. Aug.19. The fire is north of Brisco. Larry Halverson photo

Two of the three fires in the north valley are located on Steamboat Mountain and the third is at Dunbar Creek, along Highway 95, about 3.5 km north of Brisco. The fire is estimated at 2.5 ha, with the cause unknown.

The fire has caused traffic interruptions along the highway. Travellers may experience travel interruptions in the area. Crews are working near the road. Please drive with caution to keep everyone safe.

Across the Columbia River Wetlands to the west are two small fires on Steamboat Mountain.

One is an estimated one-tenth of a ha and the other .04 ha.

The other three fires being reported by BC Wildfire Service (as of 1:30 p.m.) are: the Stirton Road fire near Marysville, noted as under control at four ha; the Kootenay River fire south of Wasa is under control at 4.98 ha; and the Skookumchuck Creek fire is under control at .01 ha.

For information regarding evacuation alerts or orders please visit: Regional District of East Kootenay

Lead image: An aerial view of the Dunbar Creek fire located alongside Highway 95 north of Brisco. BC Wildfire Service photo

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