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RDEK issues evacuation alert near Baynes Lake

The White Tail Brook fire, roughly 10 kilometres east of Canal Flats, the fire continues to be active but is now 50 per cent contained and covers roughly 1,790. - Lizzie Midyette/Columbia Valley Pioneer
The White Tail Brook fire, roughly 10 kilometres east of Canal Flats, the fire continues to be active but is now 50 per cent contained and covers roughly 1,790.
— image credit: Lizzie Midyette/Columbia Valley Pioneer

A interface wildfire out in the Koocanusa region has prompted precautionary evacuations on Monday afternoon.

Located near the community of Kragmont in the Baynes Lake area, the fire is being managed by members of the Jaffray and Baynes Lake Fire Departments with assistance from the Wildfire Management Branch.

A tactical evacuation of 20 homes near the fire zone was carried out yesterday and the evacuees are asked to report to the Emergency Reception Centre at the Baynes Lake Community Hall.

Wildfires continue to burn around the Cranbrook and Kimberley area, with eight new fires reported on Sunday throughout the Southeast Fire Centre.

Around Cranbrook, crews are working to limit the spread of a remote lightning-caused fire eight kilometres north of Fisher Peak with proactive burning that began on Monday.

The fire is in very steep terrain and the burn-off is designed to steer it towards control lines at the valley bottom and contain it to areas between Tanglefoot Creek and Nacnud Creek.

No buildings or communities are under any wildfire threat.

The biggest fire of note in the region remains the White Tail Brook fire roughly 10 kilometres east of Canal Flats.

Discovered two weeks ago, the fire continues to be active but is now 50 per cent contained and covers roughly 1,790 hectares.

Also caused by lightning, the White Tail Brook fire is being attended by 95 firefighters, 10 helicopters and 13 heavy equipment.

The Southeast Fire Centre would like to remind aircraft operators that when smoke or flame are identified in a wildland area the surrounding airspace (over a forest fire area, or over any area that is located within five nautical miles of a forest fire, at an altitude of less than 3,000 feet above ground level) automatically becomes flight restricted under the authority of Section 601.15 of the Canadian Aviation Regulation.

As per Section 601.17 of the regulation, all air traffic wishing to access the restricted air space of a wildfire incident may do so only with the permission of the regional wildlife coordination centre responsible for managing that fire. Aircraft will be granted access to restricted airspace only when and if it is safe to do so.

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