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Posted: July 16, 2021

Bill Nye wildfire explodes overnight

BC Wildfire Service is mobilizing on seven new wildfires in the East Kootenay today (July 16), while a wildfire southeast of Wasa overnight exploded in size from .6 ha to an estimated 100 ha.

The Bill Nye Mountain wildfire, about nine km southeast of Wasa was discovered July 8 and had been holding, though listed as out of control, at .6 hectares until yesterday.

“It would appear yesterday’s high winds contributed to the spread,” said Wasa resident and e-KNOW reporter Nowell Berg.

“Local residents report a substantial open fire burned on the western face of the mountain last night. This morning, several new hot spots could be seen lower down on the steep mountain slope. Wasa residents keep a wary eye on the fires spread,” he added.

BC Wildfire Service explained on social media: “This fire is in incredibly steep, inoperable terrain and has been classified as modified response. Officers have been monitoring it since being discovered on July 8. Driven by high temperatures, low humidity, and an increase in winds, fire behaviour increased this afternoon, moving upslope away from structures. Because of the increased activity, the fire is producing a column of smoke which is visible from Kimberley, Cranbrook, and to those travelling on Highway 95 in the area. There is no current track on the fire, but the size is expected to increase. It is not threatening structures at this time.”
There is a new fire in Sunken Creek, high on the edge of The Steeples, about five km northeast of Horseshoe Lake. The fire is estimated at 1.1 hectares. It is unknown at this time how the fire was sparked.

Just 8.5 km north of that fire is a lightning-caused fire in Tanglefoot Creek, about one km north of Mitchell Lake. The fire is an estimated 10 ha.

A third new lightning-caused fire (.01 ha) is located in Flathead Pass, between the Taylor and Flathead Ranges, about two km from the border with Alberta and Castle Provincial Park. It is also about 30 km southeast of Fernie.

The largest of the seven new wildfires, at 20 ha, is a new lightning-caused fire in Dewar Creek, about 2.5 km west of Price Lake in St. Mary Alpine Provincial Park, about 36 km northwest of Kimberley.

Two small lightning-caused fires were sparked yesterday evening southwest of Wardner.

There is a .01 ha fire in Pennock Creek, about four km southwest of Wardner and another .01 ha fire in Rocky Creek, about seven km southwest of the village.

Another lightning-caused fire was reported last night on Maguire Mountain, about 9.5 km northeast of Grasmere.

The Granite Creek fire (26 ha) in the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy and the Big Lake fire (11 ha) south of Wasa, are being held.

Four other fires in the region are listed as under control.

Lead image: The Bill Nye Mountain wildfire as of this morning (July 16). Nowell Berg photo


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