Fire Update August 9,2014

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.

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Fire Information Public Meeting

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East Kootenay Fire Update

Passing along information from the Southeast Fire Centre as the Fire Danger Rating throughout the Southeast is “high”, with large areas of “extreme” in the East Kootenay, West Kootenay and Boundary regions. There were 60 new lightning-caused fire starts through the weekend in the Southeast Fire Centre, and continued hot and dry conditions are expected through this next week which may result in extreme fire behaviour.

As of 1:00pm Mountain Time today, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014, campfires will be prohibited throughout the Southeast Fire Centre.  This is in addition to the Open Burning ban that was put in place at the beginning of July.

For information on air quality and smoke forecasts for Western Canada, visit the BC Air Quality website: www.bcairquality.ca/bluesky/west/index.html (this site shows you an hour by hour prediction of smoke. It’s a great resource).

To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.

There was one new fire up St. Mary Lake area discovered Friday afternoon that they were actioning by air and ground over the weekend. It is in a very remote area and is not threatening any structures at this time.

Here is some additional information on the campfire ban from the SE Fire Centre:

Specifically, prohibited activities include:

* Campfires, as defined in the wildfire regulation.

* The burning of any waste, slash or other materials.

* Stubble or grass fires of any size over any area.

* The use of burning barrels of any size or description.

* The use of fireworks, sky lanterns, tiki torches or chimineas (outdoor fire pits).

The prohibition does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or to a portable campfire apparatus with a CSA or ULC rating that uses briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel, so long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres. The use of a campfire apparatus that does not meet these specifications is prohibited.

The open burning prohibition covers all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, lands within rural RDEK (outside municipal boundaries). It does not apply within the boundaries of municipalities that have forest fire prevention bylaws and are serviced by fire departments. Please check with local governments for any other restrictions before lighting any fire.

Anyone found in violation of a fire prohibition, including campfires, may be issued a ticket for up to $345. Anyone who causes a wildfire through arson or recklessness may be fined up to $1 million, spend up to three years in prison and be held accountable for associated firefighting costs.

The Southeast Fire Centre would like to thank the public for reporting wildfires and using fire safely during this period of elevated wildfire danger.

The Southeast Fire Centre covers the area extending 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. This includes the Selkirk and Rocky Mountain resource districts.

For information on air quality and smoke forecasts for Western Canada, visit the BC Air Quality website: www.bcairquality.ca/bluesky/west/index.html

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to http://www.bcwildfire.ca

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East Kootenay fire update

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).

 

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Fire Update – Whiteswan Area Fire (Posted: July 30/14 4:41pm)

The wildfire about 10 kilometres east of the Village of Canal Flats has now lead to some access road closures. BC Parks Staff are also in the midst of evacuating people from Whiteswan Provincial Park.

The access road closures are as follows:
1. Main Whiteswan Forest Service Road from the Highway 93/95 junction.
2. Main Kootenay FSR rd. from the 3 km to the 34.5 (junction of Whiterock and Kootenay FSR).
3. The White-Rock FSR

The Wildfire Management Branch is conducting a full response to this fire, including four helicopters, three water tenders supporting 50 personnel on the ground.

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Southeast Fire Centre Information Bulletin

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