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VIDEO: Fires near Castlegar continue to grow

The three fires burning near Castlegar continue to grow and fill the area with smoke.

They are now being grouped together and identified as the Syringa Complex by the BC Wildfire Service (BCWS). A nine-person incident management team has assumed command of the fire complex.

Regarding the three fires, BCWS says, “Increased smoke is the result of active fire behaviour due to warm temperatures, low relative humidity and recent windy conditions.

“A temporary weather site has been installed within the complex to track site-specific weather to improve fire behaviour predictions.”

Syringa Creek

As of Saturday afternoon, the fire burning near Syringa Creek Provincial Park was 2,365 hectares and only 25 per cent contained.

BCWS says that as smoke dissipates, the fire will become more visible from Castlegar. On Friday night, the glow from the fire was visible to residents as far out as Ootischenia.

More than 70 firefighters were working on the fire, along with 12 helicopters. BCWS says additional air support is available when required and visibility allows.

They also say small-scale hand ignition operations may commence to remove unburnt fuels to increase containment in priority areas and crews will continue to establish a sprinkler line along the southeastern flank where possible.

An evacuation alert is in effect for Syringa Provincial Park and southeast along Lower Arrow Lake to the Hugh Keenleyside Dam in Robson. An area restriction also remains in place.

Deer Creek

The Deer Creek fire near Deer Park has grown to 3,421 hectares and is 30 per cent contained.

An area restriction is in effect for the area, north of Rialto FSR, Broad Water Road, Deer Park FSR, up to Mount Stanley and west of Oak Road.

An evacuation alert is in place for the Deer Park and Broadwater Road area.

More than 60 firefighters, 12 helicopters and five pieces of heavy equipment are working on the fire.

BCWS said that small-scale hand ignition operations may continue Saturday to remove unburnt fuels to increase containment. Danger tree assessment and falling will also continue. Crews and heavy equipment will reinforce established guard and continue to hold existing containment lines on the south and west flanks. The fire perimeter will continue to be regularly monitored from the air.

Bulldog Mountain

The Bulldog Mountain fire burning near Renata has grown to 1,913 hectares.

More than 20 firefighters, 12 helicopters and three pieces of heavy equipment are working on this fire.

BCWS says crews are making good progress on containment of the northwest flank and will continue to mop up the recent successful hand ignition operation.

Crews established and ran a sprinkler line on a portion of northwest guard last night. Crews along with heavy equipment continued to establish contingency guard around Renata on Saturday.

Guard on the southeast flank is also being monitored. Structural Protection Crews from local fire departments, working out of the RDCK, continue to maintain SPU units in Renata.

An evacuation alert is in effect for the area including the community of Brooklyn and all properties to the southeast to Shields Point.

An evacuation order also remains in effect for the area northwest of Brooklyn, including Renata.

Betsy Kline

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