Crews respond to fire near Casino

Quick action kept blaze contained

An observant driver heading up the Montrose cutoff prevented the Casino area from going up in smoke Monday afternoon.

The 9-1-1 call came into Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue minutes before 4 p.m., says Fire Chief Terry Martin, mentioning someone driving to the Beaver Valley reported smoke.

Nine firefighters from Company #4 were dispatched south of the Old Trail Bridge and eventually located the fire on the power lines near Casino, he explained.

The quick response had the fire contained to an area of about 100 feet by 150 feet, Martin added.

“As the fire was near power lines there was a member from Fortis on scene who did an amazing job of knocking down flare ups with a water back pack,” he said.

“At no time were we worried about the fire spreading towards the residences at Casino.”

Crews stayed on scene until 7 p.m. dousing flames by shuffling water back and forth from the Casino Road site.

Cause of the fire remained undetermined Tuesday and no injuries were reported.

Although most of the region had a brief dousing of rain Monday, thunderstorms kept Wildfire Service crews responding to 52 new wildfires, 50 of those lightning-caused.

Thirty firefighters in the Boundary region were called to 23 new wildfires between Midway and Greenwood, the Southeast Fire Centre reported Tuesday morning.

The largest covers 25 hectares and was said to be 100 per cent contained with crews using heaving equipment at the site.

The Christina Lake area was also hit with multiple spot-sized fires, and though many are visible from nearby communities, no structures were under threat at press time.

Within Greater Trail, the fire danger rating remains high, meaning forest fuels are very dry and the fire risk is serious. New fires may start easily, burn vigorously, and challenge fire suppression efforts.

Campfires are restricted throughout the centre’s zone which extends from the US International Border to Mica Dam and from the Okanagan region through the Monashee Mountains to the B.C./Alberta Border. Provincial parks included within the centre are Valhalla, Kokanee Glacier, Monashee, St. Mary’s Alpine, Mount Assiniboine, Top of the World, and Elk Lakes. Borders are also shared with Glacier, Yoho, and Kootenay National Parks.