Expect smoke from wildfire burning near Castlegar

Expect smoke from wildfire burning near Castlegar

BC Wildfire Service advises of a planned burn on Bulldog Mountain wildfire, 30 km west of Castlegar

Trail was issued an air quality alert Thursday afternoon, no less than a day after a previous advisory was lifted.

“The recent cooler and showery weather pattern has brought some relief to the wildfires and the associated smoke concentrations have decreased across several regions,” Environment Canada advised. “Several significant wildfires do however continue to burn, most notably in the central and northern interior. Westerly winds will continue to carry wildfire smoke to downwind communities. Subtle changes in the winds and wildfire behaviour could cause smoke to return or increase.”

Smoke is expected to thicken locally if the BC Wildfire Service goes ahead with “planned ignitions” on the Bulldog Mountain wildfire, burning 30 kilometres west of Castlegar.

Weather permitting, if the planned burns go ahead, residents of nearby communities are advised that smoke will be highly visible from Deer Park, Robson and Castlegar.

“This planned ignition will burn off forest fuels between established control lines and the fire perimeter,” the bulletin read. “And will help enhance the overall safety, efficiency and effectiveness of fire-management efforts.”

The planned ignitions may be conducted as early as Friday, Aug. 31, and will proceed only if site and weather conditions allow.

They will be monitored by BC Wildfire Service crews at all times.

An evacuation order, which was put into place by the Regional District of Central Kootenay, remains in effect for Renata and properties north of Deer Creek. An evacuation alert remains in effect for the Syringa Provincial Park and Deer Park areas.

Anyone with breathing difficulties is advised to stay inside and find a place that’s cool and ventilated. Using an air conditioner that cools and filters air may help.

“If you open the windows you may let in more polluted air,” Environment Canada states. “If your home isn’t air-conditioned, consider going to a public place (library, shopping mall, recreation centre) that is air-conditioned.”