The Octopus Creek fire seen from Edgewood on July 18. Photo: Jeannie Little

Edgewood evacuation order lifted, 184 property owners can go home

Lower Arrow Lake wildfires cover more than 220 square kilometres

Residents of Edgewood can go home.

On July 26, the Regional District of Central Kootenay lifted the evacuation order for 184 properties, which will now remain on evacuation alert due to the Michaud Creek wildfire.

Three out-of-control, lightning-caused fires are burning in the Lower Arrow Lake area: Octopus Creek on the east side of the lake, with Michaud Creek and Renata Creek on the west. Together they have burned more than 220 square kilometres.

Size of fires (July 26)

Octopus Creek, 14,238 hectares

Michaud Creek: 5,981 hectares

Renata Creek: 1,970 hectares

Size of crew (July 26)

Octopus Creek: 48 firefighters, nine pieces of heavy equipment, one helicopter

Michaud Creek: 41 firefighters, 20 pieces of heavy equipment, one helicopter

Renata Creek: one firefighter, five pieces of heavy equipment.

Incident management team for all fires: 15 firefighters, one helicopter

Evacuations and alerts (July 27)

Octopus Creek: 168 properties including the communities of Fauquier and Applegrove are under evacuation order.

Michaud Creek: 356 properties are on evacuation alert.

Renata Creek: Nine properties are on evacuation alert.

Evacuation alerts are indicated in yellow, and evacuation orders in pink. Map: BC Wildfire Service

Evacuation alerts are indicated in yellow, and evacuation orders in pink. Map: BC Wildfire Service

BCWS description of fire status

Octopus Creek fire (July 26)

“Fire behaviour is remaining fairly low due to the lessening winds and the cooler temperatures from the smoke, which is blocking the sun. Be aware that these conditions could change rapidly and fire behaviour could increase suddenly. Heavy smoke is impeding air support operations. Air attack officers are monitoring the smoke. Airtankers and helicopters will return to work as soon as visibility is clear and it is deemed safe to resume operations.”

Michaud Creek fire (July 27)

“As of Monday morning, the fire remained south of Johnson Creek and continued to hold at established control lines and an old burn,” a BCWS bulletin states. “Fire behaviour remains fairly low due to the lessening winds.”

According to BCWS, smoke is impeding air support operations for both the Octopus Creek and Michaud Creek fires. Air tankers and helicopters will return to work as soon as visibility is clear and it is safe to resume operations

Renata Creek fire (July 26)

The BCWS reports that crews will continue to build and reinforce containment lines that have been established in priority areas.



bill.metcalfe@nelsonstar.com

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