West Kootenay wildlife photographer Jim Lawrence contributed this photo of the Fry Creek wildfire taken on Sept. 8.

West Kootenay wildlife photographer Jim Lawrence contributed this photo of the Fry Creek wildfire taken on Sept. 8.

Three major fires burning in West Kootenay

Many smaller, remote fires are still out of control

Out-of-control wildfires in the West Kootenay have prompted one evacuation alert and three area restrictions in the past week.

The evacuation alert applies to residents near the Fry Creek wildfire, located about 15 kilometres north of Kaslo on the east side of Kootenay Lake.

The fire’s size is estimated to be 900 hectares, according to a Sept. 12 news release from the Southeast Fire Centre.

“An incident management team has been brought in to manage this wildfire and has officially taken command as of Sept. 11,” the news release states. “A break in visibility allowed BC Wildfire Service staff to fly more of the fire. There are still areas of the fire that are obscured by smoke. Once it clears and accurate mapping can occur, the size is expected to change.”

The addresses affected by the evacuation alert can be found at https://bit.ly/3esAWl4.

There is also an area restriction imposed near Fry Creek fire. A map showing the prohibited areas of travel can be found at https://bit.ly/3ePuNQp.

An area restriction has also been issued for the out-of-control Glacier Creek fire north of Meadow Creek, which covers an area of 105 hectares. A map showing the prohibited areas can be found at https://bit.ly/3QIuS5v.

Monument Creek wildfire

Located about 17 km north of Nelson, the Monument Creek wildfire is now an estimated 660 hectares in size.

Fire growth has been minimal during the recent days of heavy smoke, and the size of the fire will be updated once it is possible to fly the entire fire.

“Crews are establishing containment lines on the south flank from Duhamel Creek, tying them into rockier areas that can act as natural fuel breaks to prevent down valley growth,” the news release states.

“Heavy equipment continues establishing containment lines on the east flank above Six-Mile Lake by re-opening existing road networks. Four helicopters remain assigned to this incident and will perform bucketing operations when visibility allows.”

An area restriction is in effect for travel near this fire. Details can be found at https://bit.ly/3RWhRa5.

Woden Creek

Located approximately 27 km northwest of Slocan and seven km southeast of Burton, the Woden Creek wildfire is estimated at 145 hectares in size.

“Firefighters are continuing to work on containment lines in the northwest corner of the fire,” the news release states. “Heavy equipment remains on scene today tying in control lines together. While helicopters were able to perform bucketing operations yesterday (Sept. 11), current visibility is preventing safe flying operations in this area. Structures are not currently threatened.”

Other fires

The Briggs Creek wildfire has been burning since Aug. 1 about 11.5 km west of Kaslo. The fire is 2,160 hectares in size (unchanged from a Sept. 2 report). The BCWS still classifies the fire as out of control. It is not burning near any structures.

The Rover Creek wildfire, 11 km southwest of Nelson and 24.5 hectares in size, remains out of control but has not expanded since an Aug. 25 report.

As of Sept. 12, three other out-of-control fires in the Kootenay Boundary are larger than 100 hectares but not threatening any communities or structures. Those fires are at Gamble Creek west of Creston, Avalanche Creek east of Castlegar, and Bernard Creek north of Riondel.

There are 65 fires burning in the Southeast Fire Centre, which extends from the U.S. border in the south to Mica Dam in the north, and from the Okanagan highlands and Monashee Mountains in the west to the B.C.-Alberta border in the east.



bill.metcalfe@nelsonstar.com

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B.C. Wildfires 2022