A wildfire in the Lamb Creek area continues to burn on the west side of Moyie Lake. (Trevor Crawley photo)

Small wildfire near Red Mountain appears to be human-caused

Response was quick and the wildland fire was extinguished, reports the Southeast Fire Centre

A small wildfire sparked near Red Mountain on Tuesday appears to be human-caused.

A crew from Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue responded to the incident on Ritchie Road until the BC Wildfire Service arrived to take over the scene.

Fire Information Officer Karlie Shaughnessy confirmed an initial attack crew was dispatched, the fire was extinguished and an investigation is underway.

The incident serves as another reminder than there are a number of road closures and area restrictions in effect throughout the Southeast Fire Centre.

Meanwhile, the Lamb Creek fire, near Moyie, continues to burn out of control.

With an evacuation order in effect for the Moyie Lake area, crews were working Wednesday with heavy equipment and helicopters to establish control lines.

A total of 52 firefighters, three helicopters and 14 pieces of heavy equipment are fighting the lightning-caused blaze estimated to be over 1,500 hectares.

Kevin Skrepnek with the BC Wildfire Service said Wednesday that many areas of the province are still tinder dry and in desperate need of rain.

The forecast is calling for showers across the province in the coming days, but Skrepnek said that won’t be enough to douse the flames, especially in the southeastern part of B.C.

“A sprinkle of rain is only going to provide temporary relief. We need a long, sustained soaking of rain right across the province,” he said.

Wildfires have also prompted officials to close off hiking trails and parks, but the prohibitions haven’t kept all adventurers out of danger.

Columbia Valley RCMP Sgt. Bob Vatamaniuk said a hiker was plucked from a trail in the southeastern corner of the province near Invermere when he encountered a wall of flames.

Vatamaniuk said the man had been on the trail in Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park for six days and was low on energy and supplies when he realized he was in danger and used his handheld satellite communication system to call for help.

The man was airlifted to safety by a helicopter crew working on the nearby wildfire before a search and rescue team could reach him, Vatamaniuk said.

With files from Canadian Press

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