The Joe Rich wildfire broke out Thursday afternoon and grew so quickly that more than 1,000 people were forced from their homes later that day and Highway 33 was shut down. The fire serves a good reminder that forests are still very dry and flames can quickly spread out of control. (Jim Bailey photo)

Prohibitions still in place, reminds Southeast Fire Centre

Local fires contained, fire danger is still high or extreme, reminds Southeast Fire Centre

Salmo River boating restrictions and evacuation alerts near Nelway were lifted Friday night as a nearby wildfire became fully contained.

The McCormick Creek wildfire has been burning 20 kilometres southwest of Salmo since Aug. 9. Although 100 per cent contained, the BC Wildfire Service lists the fire as active and advises that smoke may still be visible from Highway 6 and the Salmo area.

The cause of the 410-hectare wildfire remains under investigation.

Heavy equipment, two helicopters and 33 firefighters are continuing to work on mop-up efforts this week.

Fire danger ratings remain high with pockets of extreme throughout the region, which prompted the Southeast Fire Centre to warn locals about chainsaw and firearm use in forests.

“Many residents of the Southeast Fire Centre are looking to collect firewood and stock up for winter,” the centre states. “Please remember if you are collecting firewood that our forests are very dry, and in a “high” to “extreme” fire danger, so if possible, it is preferred to avoid firewood cutting until the fire danger has diminished. “

As hunting season encroaches, the centre has a few words of advice about firearm use in the dry back country.

“Many people have asked about current restrictions relating to hunting,” the centre stated. “At this time, the use of hunting firearms is allowed within the Southeast Fire Centre in accordance with hunting regulations and seasons.”

Notably, the use of binary exploding targets is not permitted during the current open fire prohibition.

The centre also is reminding the public that off-road vehicle restriction is still in place.

“This means the use of all off-road vehicles for recreational purposes on Crown land is prohibited,” the centre states. “This prohibition covers all forest service roads in the back country … all motorcycles (licensed or not) are also included in this prohibition.”

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