Depending on where you are sitting in the East Kootenay, you may be noticing a lot of smoke in the air today. Some of it is being generated by the White Tail Brook fire near Canal Flats, but most of it is actually blowing in from Eastern Washington where there are several big fires burning and generating a lot of smoke. The conditions are expected to persist tomorrow and through the weekend, and we are expecting to see smoke blow in from a few fires in the Kamloops Fire Centre area by tomorrow morning as well.
White Tail Brook Fire – it has been mapped this afternoon at 975 Hectares and did not experience significant growth overnight (the numbers yesterday showed the fire being quite a bit smaller, but that is primarily due to heavy smoke over the fire that prevented accurate mapping in some parts). It is now 10% contained. There are 7 helicopters (4 medium, 2 intermediate and 1 light) on the fire, 14 pieces of heavy equipment and 63 firefighters on the ground. An additional 40 firefighters arrived today, bringing the total to over 100. No structures or communities are at risk and the access closures remain in place. One new bit of information to pass along is that the Kootenay River is part of the restricted area and is closed to access from Canal Flats to the 34.5km marker on Kootenay River Forest Service Road.
Mary Lake – two small lightning strikes are being actioned today. They remain VERY small and are in a very remote area and no structures are at risk.
Just a reminder if you are out recreating to use EXTREME caution if you are using campfires. Campfires are still allowed in the Southeast Fire Centre; however, they are evaluating this daily and that could change. Wardens and Natural Resource Officers will be out in full force this weekend doing inspections and checks, so if you are using campfires, please be safe and make sure they are totally out and cold before leaving. You should check http://www.bcwildfire.ca to stay on top of any closures as a ban could be implemented if these tinder dry conditions continue. A reminder that fireworks (including setting them off) are prohibited (and have been since the beginning of July).