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Posted: August 23, 2022

Five new fires sparked in the East Kootenay

The BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) August 23 reports five new lightning-ignited wildfires in the East Kootenay since yesterday.

The largest of the three is along the west side of Fording River, about 11 km southeast of Elkford. The fire is an estimated 2.58 hectares.

There is another fire in the Quinn Creek area, about 10 km east of Top of the World Provincial Park that is an estimated one-tenth of a ha and a third fire is noted in the Galbraith North area, about seven km east of Summer Lake and 10 km southwest of Top of the World Provincial Park. That fire is noted as being 0.00 ha.

Two other lightning-sparked fires were discovered today (Aug. 23) close apart. One is in Elk Creek (2.1 ha), about 4.5 km east of the Kootenay River valley, and the other is about a km southeast of that fire, in Salt Lake Meadows. That fire is an estimated .1 ha.

The Telford Creek fire discovered August 21, about 3.5 km northwest of the Cummings Creek wildfire, five km west of Sparwood. The fire is out-of-control at .01 ha.

The Cummings Creek fire remains out-of-control at 52.6 ha but is no longer considered a fire of note.

Two other fires lightning-caused fires discovered Aug. 21 are today under control, including the Barkshanty Creek fire, northeast of Moyie, and the Haller Road fire (.3 ha) south of the Connell Ridge fire of note. Four other fires in the East Kootenay are listed as being under control.

Two fires northwest and southwest of Kimberley remain out-of-control. The Mount Evans fire, discovered August 8 about 10 km southwest of St. Mary Lake is an estimated 53.4 ha and the Stair Lakes fire, discovered July 31 in St. Mary’s Alpine Provincial Park is now an estimated 110 ha.

Area overview of the Connell Ridge fire

The Connell Ridge wildfire about 23 km south of Cranbrook is still a fire of note but is being held at 1,707 ha

The Mount Docking fire of note 27 km east of Radium Hot Springs is today an estimated 1,333 ha.

With reduced fire behaviour and activity, BCWS said the fire will be removed as a fire of note at the end of the day on August 25.

“Nearby communities can still expect to see smoke within the fire’s perimeter over the coming weeks, this is common with larger wildfires,” BCWS said.

And the last of the fires of note at Weasel Creek about 39 kilometres southeast of Baynes Lake, burning in both B.C. and Montana, is an estimated 1,177 ha today.

“The new camp is now fully operational. The purpose of this new camp is to reduce drive time, allow crews and operational staff to work on the fire longer and minimize fatigue. Setting up a remote camp requires time and effort to get temporary services set up on site. This includes water access, septic, fuel, generator run power, communications (internet and cell service) and food,” BCWS said.

“Fire growth continues to move west up the Couldrey drainage. This is also the area of the fire with the most activity. Fire activity in this area is predominantly rank 2, low vigour surface fire with open flame and an unorganized flame front and small pockets of rank 3 with the occasional tree candling. For more information regarding fire activity click here .

“Airtankers have been utilized to lay retardant lines along the northwest ridgeline above the area where the growth occurred. This helped support the crews as they worked to prevent the fire from spreading upslope in a northerly direction.

“Heavy equipment installed a bridge across the Couldrey Creek tributary to provide quicker ground access to the northwest flank where crews are working up the ridge line towards the retardant line. This bridge increases safety for the crews by creating quicker response time for First Aid access should it be required.”

There are 79 firefighters, six helicopters and 14 pieces of heavy equipment on the fire today.


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