Lightning storm sparks fires in West Kootenay

Fires near Champion Lakes and Mount Heinze contained

Tuesday night’s lightning storm sparked numerous fires in the West Kootenay including three in the general area.

However, as of Thursday morning all three fires in the region are contained or in the mop-up stage.

Carlee Kachman, fire information officer for the South East Fire Centre, said a 0.2-hectare fire south of Champion Lake and a 0.4-hectare fire on Mount Heinze, east of Birchbank, are both 100 per cent contained with crews on site and in the mop-up stage.

A third fire, 0.5-hectare wildfire on Keystone Mountain northwest of Salmo, received air tanker support on Wednesday and currently five BC Wildfire Service personnel are on site. The fire is contained and the crews also have water support on site.

Those three firs were just some of the several fires ignited by Tuesday’s storm.

Three separate fires are burning about 12 kilometres south of Boswell in the Sanca area, east of Kootenay Lake. These fires are all 0.5 hectares or smaller. Airtankers, a helicopter and initial attack crews are working on site.

Initial attack crews are responding to two small wildfires about five kilometres north of Queens Bay in the Coffee Creek region, west of Kootenay Lake.

A 0.7-hectare wildfire west of Slocan Park in the Waverton Creek area is in steep, difficult terrain. A helicopter and initial attack crew were en route Wednesday afternoon.

Since April 1, the BC Wildfire Service has responded to 174 wildfires in the Southeast Fire Centre, 51 of which were human-caused.

The fire danger rating in most of the Southeast Fire Centre is currently “high”, with some areas rated “extreme” in the Cranbrook, Arrow and Kootenay Lake fire zones.

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call *5555 on a cellphone or 1 800 663-5555 toll-free. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: www.bcwildfire.ca

 

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