Several properties in rural Area B outside of Rossland remained on evacuation alert Monday after lightning sparked seven new wild fires over the weekend.
“These storms arrived with lightning, but not very much rain,” advised Chris March from the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB).
“As such, lightning strikes by and large started fires immediately. The BC Wildfire Service was very challenged yesterday (Saturday) due to high winds and temperatures as well as an incredible number of new fires all across the southeast,” he said.
“Many fires were not able to be actioned immediately, which means that these fires had an opportunity to grow beyond the initial attack stage. At this point, there are numerous out of control wildfires burning in southeast B.C.”
The RDKB issued the alert on Sunday afternoon to all properties within the Big Sheep Creek drainage area southwest of Rossland including Hadley Road, Thompson Road, Big Sheep Creek Road and the Old Rossland Cascade Highway section near Sheep Creek.
Affected residents are advised to prepare items called “The 5 Ps,” which refers to people, pets, prescriptions, paper and photos.
Additionally, the district advises valuables such as RVs be moved, and that a designated meeting place be set up outside the evacuation area.
Another evacuation alert was issued Sunday for all properties east of Kilometre 2 on Santa Rosa Road east of Christina Lake.
This fire is located near Castle Mountain, approximately 22 kilometres southwest of Rossland.
Due to the potential danger from a 35-hectare wildfire burning near McArthur Creek outside of Salmo, the Regional District of Central Kootenay issued an evacuation order to three rural properties on Friday.
With 27 new evacuation orders affecting an estimated 3,100 people and 1,537 properties as of Monday, and many weeks remaining in the fire season, the province announced it was requesting assistance from the federal government.
As of Monday morning, a total of 70 evacuation alerts were affecting approximately 21,000 people across B.C.