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Southeast Fire Centre updates on wildfires of note in Columbia Fire Zone

A BC Wildfire Serivce photo taken from the air last week of the Whitetail Creek wildfire. — BC Wildfire Service photo

In a media release Monday, the Southeast Fire Centre said since (Saturday) August 11, 2018, there have been 81 new wildfire starts in the Southeast Fire Centre, 19 of which are in the Columbia Fire Zone.

The Columbia Fire Zone extends from the Alberta border in the east to the Clan William Bridge (near Three Valley Gap) in the west, and from just north of Mica Dam in the north to Pingston Creek in the south. The communities of Revelstoke, Golden, Nicholson and Field are within the Columbia Fire Zone.

The BC Wildfire Service is prioritizing these new fires and responding to them accordingly.

Currently, 165 fires are burning within the Southeast Fire Centre's jurisdiction. Since April 1, 2018, 366 fires have burned 19,242 hectares. Fire danger ratings are expected to increase with hot and dry weather in the forecast for later this week.

Wildfires of note within the Columbia Fire Zone include the Redburn Creek wildfire and the Whitetail Creek wildfire:

Redburn Creek wildfire 

  • The Redburn Creek wildfire is about 18 kilometres northeast of Golden, and covers about 101 hectares.
  • This fire is not currently impacting any communities or structures, although it is highly visible from Golden, Highway 1 and surrounding communities. This fire is being closely monitored.

Whitetail Creek wildfire

  • The Whitetail Creek wildfire is just outside of Kootenay National Park, about 40 kilometres north of Radium Hot Springs, and covers about 576 hectares. Forty personnel are on site, supported by four pieces of heavy equipment.
  • This fire is 50% guarded and 20% contained. It is not impacting any communities or structures.
  • With the aid of heavy equipment, crews are working to build fire guards along the west flank of this fire to limit its growth. They are reinforcing existing fire guards and extinguishing hotspots to limit the fire's growth.

A fire of note in the Boundary Region:

Toronto Creek:

  • This fire is locatedapproximately 12 km north of Downtown Grand Forks and about 2 kilometres east of Granby Road. 
  • This active interface fire was discovered Saturday, August 11, 2018 at is currently an estimated 11.0 hectares in size. This fire, caused by lightning, is located in rugged terrain and is displaying active growth. 
  • As a precautionary measure and in the interest of public safety, the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary has issued an evacuation alert for properties along Granby Road and Volcanic Creek Road. For more information on this alert, please contact the RDKB at 250 368-0259 or visit their website at www.rdkb.com
  • Currently 14 firefighters with the assistance of one helicopter are fighting this fire. Ground crews continue to action this fire Monday with the aid of air support and heavy equipment.

Both of these fires are "modified response" fires, which means they are managed using a combination of fire suppression techniques and are monitored to contain fire activity within predetermined perimeters.

Many wildfires currently burning in the Columbia Fire Zone fall into the "modified response" category. By allowing fires in remote locations to continue to burn (under close observation), valuable firefighting resources are freed up to deal with fires that have more potential to impact human life and property.

The Southeast Fire Centre said Columbia Fire Zone staff thank members of the public for their diligence in reporting wildfires, and their support for B.C.'s firefighters.

To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: http://www.bcwildfire.ca

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