As the Quinn Creek and White River Complex fires continue to burn in the East Kootenay, a precautionary evacuation alert has been issued for the Elkford area by the Regional District of East Kootenay, the District of Elkford and the District of Sparwood.

Evacuation alert issued for Elkford to Sparwood

The Quinn Creek and White River Complex fires have forced an evacuation alert

As the Quinn Creek and White River Complex fires continue to burn in the East Kootenay, a precautionary evacuation alert has been issued for the Elkford area by the Regional District of East Kootenay, the District of Elkford and the District of Sparwood.

“An evacuation alert informs residents of the threat of a potential or impending danger. It is intended to give people time to gather things and prepare themselves so that they are ready to go should the situation worsen and an Evacuation Order be issued,” explains Information Officer Loree Duczek.

“We encourage people within the evacuation alert area to put together important papers (like insurance papers), medications, valuables, supplies for children and pets, and other important items so that in the event things progress and they are asked to evacuate, they are ready to go.”

The evacuation alert area covers the area north of the District of Sparwood to Bingay Creek. This includes the District of Elkford, Line Creek, Green Hills and Fording River Operations and all rural properties north of the District of Sparwood as outlined on the map associated with this Alert, which is available on the RDEK’s website.

The Quinn Creek fire is currently estimated at 6576 hectares in size and is burning southwest of Elkford. It is being actively actioned by the BC Wildfire Service both by ground and air. The White River Complex is now estimated at 22,500ha. A dedicated Incident Management Team has arrived to take over the operation of the fires and a camp has been set up in the Canal Flats area.

A map of the alert area is on the RDEK’s website.

“We need to stress that at this time, we have only issued an alert and now is the time to take steps to be prepared.”

As of Tuesday evening’s update from the RDEK, the Quinn Creek fire is estimated at 6576 hectares in size and is in the Bull River drainage. The fire has been active on the northern side. It remains within the Bull River drainage and has moved to the beginning of upper Brule Creek. There were 22 personnel, two helicopters and five pieces of heavy equipment on the fire.

Air tankers and helicopters have established a retardant line on the ridge on the east side of the drainage to prevent further movement eastward and a portable retardant pit has been set up. Crews are also working to establish control lines on the southern edge of this fire.

The White River Complex is estimated at 22,500 hectares. A dedicated Incident Management Team has taken over the operation of this fire and have established a camp in the Canal Flats area.

Wednesday, there were 105 firefighters, four helicopters, and six pieces of heavy equipment on the fire. Helicopters bucketed along the southern flank today and will be reassigned to other areas as necessary. Heavy equipment was also working in the southern end of the fire to provide safe access for crews. Additional crews will be arriving shortly.

In the vicinity of Whiteswan Lake, structure protection units are in place as a precautionary measure.The evacuation order for the Whiteswan area remains in effect.

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