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Posted: August 17, 2022

Mount Docking wildfire keeps growing

East Kootenay wildfire update for August 17

The BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) today (August 17) reports continued growth on the Mount Docking wildfire.

The lightning-caused fire is now an estimated 1,317 hectares, up from 341 ha yesterday.

BCWS has implemented an Area Restriction Order for the vicinity of the Mount Docking wildfire, which is 27 km east of Radium Hot Springs and seven kilometres east of Kootenay National Park.

Two new lightning-sparked fires started August 16 about 10 and 13 km south of Canal Flats at Larson Lake. One fire is about 1.1 ha and the second Larson Lake S is about one-tenth of a ha.

The East Kootenay’s three wildfires-of-note continue to receive a pounding from BCWS.

The Cummings Creek fire, approximately five kilometres west of Sparwood is 52.6 ha.

“The fire has backed down into the wetter areas around the Cummings Creek and growth in the north and easterly directions has slowed, which has allowed the opportunity for crews to safely work on building limited access/egress routes,” BCWS reported.

“Yesterday crews completed all objectives on the north and east flanks of the fire perimeter. The 50-foot wetline is now complete along the east flank along with the contingency line and hoselay up the Will Weaver creek drainage. All portions of the fire perimeter with safe and workable terrain have been actioned.

“Crews also completed planning and layout of contingency lines outside of the fire perimeter in the event that fire growth occurs back down towards the valley bottom. This is not currently anticipated to occur.

“Sprinkler systems and hoselay remain in place and prepped for use should fire activity increase and the need arise.”

Connell Ridge fire August 13.

The Connell Ridge fire remains the largest in the region at an estimated 1,700 ha.

“Planning and implementation of small-scale ignition operations remains ongoing. These tactics will be utilized as needed when weather and site conditions are favourable and will support crews in securing containment lines by removing the unburnt fuel between the free burning fires edge and the established guard,” BCWS explained.

The fire breached the containment lines on the southeast flank early in the day on Sunday, August 14. This added an additional 30 hectares to the fire size. Crews and heavy equipment are continuing to establish guard around the slop-over. While heavy equipment continued advancing the guard construction on the north flank of the fire.

Helicopters will continue providing bucketing support to the crews working on the southern portion of the fire throughout the day.

An Evacuation Alert has been issued by the Regional District of East Kootenay in the vicinity of this fire. More information is available online: Click Here

An Area Restriction is in effect for this incident in order to protect the public in areas where ongoing fire suppression activities are taking place. Full information including a map of the affected area is available: Click Here

Today there are 74 firefighters, 13 helicopters, 19 pieces of heavy equipment and 17 additional operational personnel are also assigned to this incident.

The B.C./Montana shared Weasel Creek wildfire, 39 kilometres southeast of Baynes Lake, is an estimated 985.4 ha on the Canadian side of the border.

Today there are 39 firefighters, 13 helicopters and four pieces of heavy equipment on the fire. Seven structure protection personnel and 12 additional operational personnel assigned to this incident.

Jurisdictional collaboration is continuing between the Incident Management Team (IMT) in the United States located in Eureka and the BC Wildfire Service Incident Management Team in Canada located in Elko.

“Winds may challenge our ability to utilize aircraft in the area today. Where safe to do so, there are aerial resources available to support this fire,” BCWS said.

The Mount Evans fire about 10 km southwest of St. Mary Lake remains out-of-control at 33.5 ha.

The Stair Lakes fire at St. Mary’s Alpine Provincial Park is out-of-control at 44 ha.

And the Jordan Lake wildfire, believed to be human-caused on August 15, is being held at .3 ha. The fire is nine km west of Spillimacheen.

Lead image: An airtanker drops retardant on the Weasel Creek wildfire August 12. BCWS photos


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