An Evacuation ALERT has been issued for the Canadian Rockies International Airport. The midnight WestJet flight coming into Cranbrook and the 6:55am morning flight from Cranbrook to Calgary have been cancelled. While the Airport remains open, additional flights may be affected due to fire conditions. Anyone planning to fly (or pick up passengers) should closely monitor updates from the airport.
The BC Wildfire Service has provided an evening update:
• Resources on the fire today include:
– 5 Initial Attack crews
– 3 Unit Crews
– 182 personnel including BC Wildfire personnel, contract crews, single resources, and structure protection personnel
– 16 pieces of heavy equipment are on site working on containment lines.
– 57 Structure protection personnel are on site and integrated into the incident
• There are six helicopters assigned to this incident including three heavy-lift helicopters. Airtankers remain assigned and a skimmer group is staged out of Kamloops. Aviation resources are being shared across the incident to priority areas as required.
• The majority of the fire activity from peak burning period on Thursday has been in the area north of the airport and west of the mission road. The fire has spread towards and north of the airport. Ground crews, heavy equipment, and aviation resources are actively working in the area in an attempt to contain further growth.
• The Spring prescribed burn continues to hold the fires progression in the area east of the airport.
• Crews are spread throughout priority areas of the fire to patrol and hold it at existing control lines.
• The planned ignition from the Mission Road to Francis Lake held during the peak burning period.
• A small section to the northeast that was not a part of the small-scale planned ignition has had skimmers working on it continuously to keep the humidity up.
• Heavy equipment has been working along the LD Ranch Road to remove excess canopy in order to reduce the chances of crown fire spread.
• Machine guard is in place off of the Wycliffe Cherry Creek road south towards the airport. There is a night crew of heavy equipment in place to support potential overnight operations in this area as needed.
• Cranbrook fire department has been mobilized to begin structure protection on critical assets at the Canadian Rockies International Airport.
• Incoming structure protection crews were integrated into the response structure throughout the day. Structure assessments and protection are ongoing in all alerted and ordered areas.
• Structure protection and defense is maintaining a presence throughout the fire in potential areas of concern.
For the latest update on the fire status, the best source of information is the Wildfire of Note page on www.bcwildfire.ca.