UPDATED: BC Forest Service braces for Kootenay fires

While temperatures soared over the weekend, not much wildfire activity was reported in Southeast BC. - Thinkstock/Getty Images
While temperatures soared over the weekend, not much wildfire activity was reported in Southeast BC.
— image credit: Thinkstock/Getty Images

It was a “fairly slow weekend” for wildfires in the Kootenays despite scorching temperatures.

Southeast Fire Centre information officer Jordan Turner said no major new blazes were sparked, allowing crews to mop up fires from last week.

But with the hot, dry weather of the last ten days and a subtropical storm that passed through the area Monday, crews remain vigilant.

“A lot of crews are available and several are on standby,” he said. “We are expecting a few starts.”

As of Tuesday morning, however, only one small new fire was reported 20 km northeast of Cranbrook.

Three small lightning-caused fires near Grand Forks have been contained while another small fire on Murphy Creek about 10 km north of Rossland and 2 km north of Highway 3B is out. A logging operator called it in and began to suppress it.

“Most of our wildfires are reported by the public,” Turner said. “We do appreciate all the support we get. A lot of fires in the southeast start in remote areas.”

Turner said air patrols are planned Tuesday to look for smoke. Ground crews are also visiting various logging roads.

The biggest fire in southeast BC right now is about 25 hectares on the south shore of Kinbasket Lake, 75 km northwest of Golden. Golden and Invermere are also seeing a lot of smoke and haziness from a 5,600 hectare fire on the border of Banff National Park.

Most fires in our area are less than a hectare, with the exception of a 10-hectare blaze in a remote area 30 km northeast of New Denver that started last week.

Since Thursday, there has been one small human-caused fire in the Cranbrook zone, and one in the Boundary zone that was industry-related but immediately suppressed. Crews are patrolling it to make sure it doesn’t restart.

The fire danger rating in West Kootenay ranges from high in Nelson to extreme in Nakusp through New Denver and Kaslo.

To report a wildfire, call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on your cell.

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