The fire started when winds picked up and caused the controlled burn of a slash pile to jump to an adjacent one in a gravel pit off the Jordan River Forest Service Road on Monday, May 29. It sent a big plume of smoke skyward and the smoke slowly wafted into town.
“The concern was it would spread into the forest, which it didn’t. It was in a very large gravel pit that it didn’t escape,” said Carlee Kachman, a fire information officer with the Southeast Fire Centre.
The 0.15 hectare was attacked by fire suppression people on site and an initial attack crew from the Revelstoke fire base. “The industry on site had materials on hand to suppress the fire and our workers were there to make sure it didn’t spread,” said Kachman.
On Tuesday morning, smoke was no longer visible and the fire was listed as “being held,” meaning, “with the resources currently committed to the fire, sufficient suppression action has been taken and the fire is not likely to spread beyond existing or pre-determined boundaries under the prevailing and forecasted conditions,” said Kachman.
Following the blaze, the Southeast Fire Centre sent out a bulletin to industry reminding them to be mindful of weather conditions when lighting a controlled category two or three fire.
“From this, we would like to put out the messaging that if it’s windy conditions, you need to be mindful of that before you light a fire and be mindful of the weather conditions as they change during a fire, and know you’re responsible for that fire if it does spread,” said Kachman.
She added anyone operating a category two or three fire should register the burn with the fire centre.
“They’re free and help us know who is out there and lighting fires so we know it’s not a wild fire,” said Kachman. “It decreases our cost for having to go out there and check on things.”