There may be a bit of smoke in the air through the weekend as local fires, fires in the Okanagan and big fires in Washington continue to burn. On the local fire front, the biggest fire in the region continues to be the White Tail Brook Fire near Canal Flats, which is 1750 Hectares (but growing away from Canal Flats). There are a number of other lightning related fires in that same area, and all are being actioned by the Type 2 Incident Management Team. All of the closures (including a portion of the river) remain in effect and those closures may expand over the weekend, so check www.bcwildfire.ca for the latest.
There is a small fire a few kilometers north of Fairmont that is being actioned by an Initial Attack Crew, two very remote fires being actioned in the St. Mary Lake Valley, and one new small spot fire a few kilometers outside of Cranbrook in the New Lake area. All of these are lightning caused and being actioned by the Wildfire Management Branch. No structures or communities are being threatened at this time.
The campfire ban (and open burning ban, which prohibits fireworks) remain in place as conditions are extremely dry.
While there have been a few forest fires in the East Kootenay region, so far we have not had any wide scale fires of note; however, it is dry out there and we need to use caution. You only need to look around the Province and into Alberta at the number of forest fires popping up to see how quickly things can change. Please use caution if you are out in the woods, camping, or recreating in our beautiful outdoors.
Currently, campfires are permitted in our region; however on July 2nd , all open fire was banned throughout the entire Southeast Fire Centre (which covers the East Kootenay). Prohibited activities include:
Campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller, and cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquette are still allowed at this time.
The RDEK follows the Provincial Wildfire Management Branch fire prohibitions. To learn more about fire bans and current fires, visit the BC Wildfire Management Branch website at: www.bcwildfire.ca
Another resource you might be interested in bookmarking is http://www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca/ . It’s a great site for current alerts and bulletins, but also includes some prevention and preparation materials.
Currently, there is a fire threatening an entire community (Hudson’s Hope) in the Okanagan and it serves as a good reminder of the power of mother nature. Please do what you can to prevent fires – from ensuring campfires are fully extinguished and cool to keeping cigarette butts in the car instead of throwing them out the window – small actions make a big difference in tinder dry conditions.