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New fire sparks near Moyie, as BC Wildfire Service continues response to Doctor Creek Wildfire

The BC Wildfire Service is reporting a new 0.6-hectare wildfire near Moyie, while still committing massive resources to the 4,595-hectare Doctor Creek Wildfire.

The only other active wildfire in the East Kootenay is the 3.5-hectare Stirton Road Wildfire southeast of Kimberley. Originally sparking on August 9th, the wildfire was under control a few days later and has been smouldering for nearly two weeks under the eye of the BC Wildfire Service.

A firefighter standing amongst burnt trees caused by the Doctor Creek Wildfire on Wednesday, August 26, 2020. (Supplied by BC Wildfire Service)

Moyie’s new wildfire was sparked sometime on Thursday, with the BC Wildfire Service believing human activity is to blame. The fire is just north of Hiawatha Lake, east of Highway 3, and approximately three kilometres north of Moyie Lake Provincial Park.

While firefighters respond to that new blaze, a massive amount of resources are still being allocated to the 4,594-hectare Doctor Creek Wildfire.

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Approximately 25 kilometres southwest of Canal Flats, the BC Wildfire Service has 125 firefighters, eight helicopters, and 13 pieces of heavy equipment assigned to the fire on Friday.

“Yesterday (Thursday, August 27th), a planned ignition operation was conducted to help gain containment on the southeast perimeter. The planned ignition helped create a controlled, fuel-free area ahead of the fire to prevent the fire from spreading further,” said the BC Wildfire Service. “Today (Friday, August 28th), crews are working to cool the perimeter where the ignition occurred.”

A firefighter conducting a planned ignition in response to the Doctor Creek Wildfire on Friday, August 28, 2020. (Supplied by BC Wildfire Service)

“Work continues on the construction of control lines north of Doctor Creek. Helicopters that bucket water onto areas of increased fire activity continue to support ground crews. Heavy equipment is working on a guard in the southwest portion of the fire.”

The RDEK’s Evacuation Order for 10 properties in the Findlay Creek area remains in effect, as well as the area restriction west of Highway 93/95 so as to give firefighters plenty of space to coordinate their response without interference or interruption from the public.

“An updated fire size will be provided once smoke clears and visibility in the fire area improves,” noted the BC Wildfire Service. “No structures are currently threatened. Structure protection systems are in use near the fire as a precautionary measure.”

“Weather forecasts for the Doctor Creek wildfire area call for warm temperatures with increasing and gusty winds possible on Friday.”

The BC Wildfire Service said the winds are expected to continue Saturday and Sunday with cooler temperatures and higher humidity.

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