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Doctor Creek Wildfire experiencing minimal growth following large firefighting response

As of Monday, the BC Wildfire Service has 82 firefighters, seven helicopters, and five pieces of heavy equipment working to suppress and contain the 3,071-hectare wildfire.

Most recent estimates from the BC Wildfire Service, had the Doctor Creek Wildfire still at 3,071 hectares, as the blaze had limited growth the past number of days.

The Doctor Creek Wildfire pictured Sunday, August 23, 2020. (Supplied by BC Wildfire Service)

The BC Wildfire Service said the fire’s behaviour on its active front to be rank 2 to 3. According to the wildfire authority, that means its a low to moderately vigorous fire, burning in the surface fuel layer on the forest floor and staying below the tree crowns.

“Rank 2-3 fire behaviour generally has a slow to moderate rate of spread,” noted the BC Wildfire Service. “Increased winds are forecasted this afternoon (Monday) into the evening which have the potential to increase fire behaviour.”

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“Smoke from this fire has been settling into the valleys overnight and is presenting a challenge to visibility for morning aviation operations. Crews have made good progress on the guard south of Doctor Creek. Structure protection systems are in use near the fire as a precautionary measure.”

The Doctor Creek Wildfire pictured Sunday, August 23, 2020. (Supplied by BC Wildfire Service)

At this time, the RDEK’s Evacuation ORDER for 10 properties in the Findlay Creek area remains in effect and will remain in place until further notice, as well as the area restrictions west of Highway 93/95 between Canal Flats and Columere.

“Ground crews continue to work with the support of heavy equipment and aviation resources,” said the BC Wildfire Service. “Crews continue to construct control lines north and south of Doctor Creek with support from small planned ignitions operations to reinforce lines.”

The seven helicopters assigned to the wildfire are continuing to bucket water and cool areas with increased fire activity, while suppression efforts are focused on the fire’s eastern flank.

The Doctor Creek Wildfire first ignited on Tuesday, August 18th as a result of a suspected lightning strike and remains approximately 25 kilometres southwest of Canal Flats.

Smoke from the fire has prompted a Smoky Skies Bulletin from BC Air Quality for the East Kootenay, which includes the entire Columbia Valley, Kimberley, and Cranbrook.

MORE: Smoky Skies Bulletin in effect for the East Kootenay region (August 23, 2020)

Of the six active wildfires in the East Kootenay, four are under control, while crews continue their efforts against the Doctor Creek Wildfire and a small 0.04-hectare wildfire north of Edgewater near Spur Valley. That fire reportedly sparked on Sunday, August 23rd, following another suspected lightning strike.

A map depicting the Doctor Creek Wildfire Area Restriction outlined with a grey and black dotted line. (Supplied by the BC Wildfire Service)
Evacuation ORDER area for Findlay Creek as a result of the Doctor Creek wildfire. (Supplied by RDEK)
The Doctor Creek Wildfire pictured Sunday, August 23, 2020. (Supplied by BC Wildfire Service)

Previous articles on the Doctor Creek Wildfire by MyEastKootenayNow.com:

Doctor Creek Wildfire estimated at 3,071 hectares as of Sunday (August 23, 2020)

Area Restrictions in place for Findlay Creek area (August 21, 2020)

Doctor Creek Wildfire grows to 3,000 hectares (August 21, 2020)

RDEK issues Evacuation ORDER for Findlay Creek as Doctor Creek Wildfire grows (August 19, 2020)

BC Wildfire Service reporting new wildfire west of Canal Flats (August 19, 2020)

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