Here is the nightly round up on what continues to be an exceptionally busy fire season for the BC Wildfire Service.
In a news release today, the BCWS reported that between July 19 and Aug. 19, 2018, there were 324 new wildfire starts in the Southeast Fire Centre, 90% of which were caused by lightning. Of these 324 wildfires, 177 have been declared out, 28 are under control, 24 are being held and 95 remain classified as out of control. This means that less than 30% of the wildfires that started in the Southeast Fire Centre during this one-month period remain out of control. Of those fires, 34 are currently in modified response and 38 are monitor-only fires. The successes that the Southeast Fire Centre has experienced on these fires have allowed it to focus its resources on the 23 remaining priority fires that are receiving sustained action. Crews continue to work extremely hard toward suppressing the remaining fires. To view the full news release: http://bcfireinfo.for.gov.bc.ca/…/Wildf…/DisplayArticle.asp….
Current Evacuation Alerts and Orders:
There has been no change in the status of the evacuation alerts or orders. Currently, the following orders and alerts remain in place:
* St. Mary Valley (65 properties in Area E)
* Cross River / Nipika Mountain Resort (9 properties)
* City of Kimberley & a handful of properties in the RDEK directly south and southeast of the City of Kimberley.
* Ta Ta Creek Area – (121 properties)
* Randal Creek Fire (1 property in Area C near Yahk)
Here is the latest on the fire front from the BC Wildfire Service:
Meachen Creek – St. Mary Lake – (N11886)
Structural protection units are on scene to begin protecting values in Zone 2 (to the east of St.Mary Lake up to Lake Front Road). Crews are currently working in the northeast corner with hose, working 20 feet into the perimeter to support the area where there was a planned ignition operation on Sunday. There are 14 firefighting personnel, 3 helicopters and 7 pieces of heavy equipment on site.
The fire is currently estimated at 6,996 hectares in size. The Incident Management team that has taken over the Meachen, Lost Dog and Mount Dickson fires has created a detailed incident update: http://bcfireinfo.for.gov.bc.ca/…/8212018~115823_Incident%2…
Lost Dog Complex Fire (N12413)
Today, crews continued to wet line 50 feet in up the east flank toward the north to tie in with the Unit Crew. The Unit Crew was working from the northwest down the west side 50 feet in towards the south. Some hand ignitions will be conducted on the east flank to eliminate unburnt fuels. A heavy helicopter with bucket was used to suppress the line in the uncontained area. Today, they had 41 firefighting personnel, 3 helicopters and 7 pieces of heavy equipment on site.
Leach Creek (N12565)
This fire, located in the Corbin area near Sparwood, is currently being held, and is no longer a fire of note as there is no risk to public safety. This will be the last update on this fire.
Mt. Erickson (N12574)
Today there were 3 helicopters bucketing this fire and 3 personnel on site. This fire is lightning caused and estimated at 79 hectares. It is NE of Sparwood. Yesterday, there was a new start just east of this fire called the Deadman Pass Fire (N12782) and it’s estimated to be 1.5ha in size. Those who require further information on these fires are asked to call the Southeast Fire Centre at 250-365-4040.
Coal Creek FSR (N12395)
They continue to make progress on this fire. There are currently 21 firefighters, and 2 pieces of heavy equipment on site. The guard has been built in priority areas along the west flank. Crews have successfully reinforced guard with small scale hand ignition operations. Ground crews continue to work on mop up and patrol. The fire is located about 12km east of Fernie. There are a number of Forest Service Road restrictions – check www.bcwildfire.ca for the latest closures.
Cross River Fire/Nipika Mountain Resort – (N21982)
The Cross River Fire is currently estimated at 3,708 hectares. Resources include 29 firefighters, and 6 pieces of heavy equipment. The machine guard on the south flank of fire of the fire is now complete. Crews and heavy equipment continue to work on contingency line.
Structural Protection Units are operational. Local Sprinkler Protection Setup (SPS) crews from several of the RDEK’s Rural Fire Departments in both the Columbia Valley and South Country are working diligently to set up SPUs on structures in the area.
Sage Creek (N12024)
This wildfire is 100% contained and has not experienced any significant fire growth since August 16. There are currently 129 firefighters, 8 helicopters, and 2 airtankers on site. Bucketing continues in priority areas. Crews will continue to work on the line pump and hose supported by helicopter bucketing. Aerial suppression will continue to limit further spread along the perimeter. The fire is located approximately 65km southeast of Fernie along the BC/AB border. A number of Forest Service Road restrictions remain in place – check the BC Wildfire website for details.
This fire is currently estimated at 577 hectares. This fire is burning west of the community of Newgate near the US border and is not threatening any communities at this time. There is a modified response on this fire, with heavy equipment on site to build guard.
Randal Creek (N72436)
Crews are supporting heavy equipment guard extending to the west to prevent spread of the fire. Crews continue to assess for potential burn off operations to be implemented when appropriate. There are currently 10 firefighters and 1 helicopter on site. This fire is currently estimated at 932 hectares.
Wardle Creek: Parks Canada continues to manage the Wardle wildfire in Kootenay National Park. Significant progress has been made toward containing the fire and it is now being held. This means that the fire is not expected to spread. There has been a slight change in resources today, there are currently 120 personnel, 6 helicopters and 2 pieces of heavy equipment on site. Fire and highway crews continue to work on the Wardle wildfire to keep Highway 93 South open.
Akenside Creek Fire (N21714)
There is a modified response on this fire. There are currently 16 people, and 1 piece of heavy equipment on site. The fire is currently estimated at 374 hectares and is burning west of the community of Edgewater. It is not threatening any communities at this time.
McDermid Creek (N12563)
This fire is estimated at 70 hectares, there were 2 personnel on site today.
Bow River Fire (N12407)
Fire continues to be estimated at 760 hectares. We have received no new updates on this fire which is burning near the 90km mark up the Bull River.
South Line Creek (N12685)
This fire is estimated to be 15 hectares and is located near the Alberta border southeast of Elkford. We have received no new updates on this fire.
Whitetail Creek (N41525)
The management of this fire (located 40km north of Radium) has been turned over to Parks Canada to monitor and action as required. There are no significant changes to report.
WEATHER FORECAST: The weather forecast is calling for warmer temperatures and the possibility of a little more blue sky across the region for the next day or so. While this can be a sight for sore eyes after all that smoke, the smoke has helped keep fire behaviour down as it has kept temperatures cooler and relative humidity a bit higher.