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East Kootenay and Creston area wildfires grow, one new fire reported

Firefighters are continuing their battle against wildfires in the East Kootenay, Creston Valley, and across B.C. as local fires continue to grow.

Just one new fire has been reported in the Forsite area northeast of Canal Flats. The lightning-caused wildfire is estimated to be 0.6 hectares in size.

Notable fires

The Bill Nye Mountain fire, about seven kilometres southeast of Wasa, has grown to about 873 hectares. The BC Wildfire Service first reported the lightning-caused blaze on Saturday, July 10th.

“Fire behaviour continues to be a low to moderate surface fire, with flare-ups when pockets of previously unburned fuels are found. The majority of fire growth is happening upslope into higher elevations,” said the BC Wildfire Service.

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Smoke from the fire can be seen in Cranbrook, Wasa, Kimberley and the surrounding areas.

An Evacuation Alert has been issued to 54 nearby properties by the Regional District of East Kootenay. The alert applies to both residential and residential properties and recreation campgrounds.

Five firefighters, two pieces of heavy equipment and one helicopter are being used to combat the flames.

More: Evacuation Alert issued for Lazy Lake area (July 17, 2021)

East of Kootenay Lake, the Akokli Creek fire about seven kilometres east of Boswell has also grown and is estimated to be about 865 hectares. The fire was discovered on Friday, July 9th, and is believed to have been caused by a lightning strike.

“Fire behaviour is mostly a low vigour surface fire, with pockets of moderately vigorous surface fire as previously unburnt fuels are found. Prevailing winds are currently pushing the fire upslope and away from homes, though slow westerly movement has been noted,” said the BC Wildfire Service.

An Evacuation Alert has been placed on the nearby communities as a result of the fire, along with an area restriction around the fire. Access along the highway and to residential properties is still allowed.

Four firefighters and one helicopter are being used to fight the flames. Ground crews are working to build the necessary infrastructure nearby to support firefighting efforts.

“The fire is burning burn in steep and unworkable terrain in the Akokli Drainage,” said the BC Wildfire Service. “Plans are being developed for heavy equipment and containment lines are being identified along existing roads.”

The fire can be seen from Boswell, Creston, and surrounding areas, it is also visible to those travelling on Highway 3A.

More: Evacuation Alerts placed for Cultus Creek and Akokli Creek Wildfires (July 17, 2021)

More: Akokli and Redding Creek under area restrictions (July 14, 2021)

Out of control fires

On the other side of Kootenay Lake, the Cultus Creek fire continues to burn out of control. It also prompted an Evacuation Alert and an area restriction. It was first discovered on July 2nd.

To the north, the Carney Creek wildfire has grown to about 417 hectares after it was discovered on July 11th.

Another 140 hectares of forest are burning out of control near Kamma Creek, southeast of Kianuko Provincial Park.

A 288-hectare burn is out of control in the Tanglefoot Creek area, about 30 kilometres northeast of Cranbrook.

The Redding Creek wildfire is estimated to be about 131 hectares in size after it was first discovered on Sunday, July 11th.

A 58-hectare fire in the Dewar Creek area is continuing to burn out of control after it was discovered on Friday.

In the Ptarmigan Creek area, north of Whiteswan Lake, an 18-hectare fire is active and it out of control.

The smallest out-of-control wildfire as of Monday morning is a 0.01-hectare fire in the Drinkwater Creek area.

Area restrictions have been put in place around the Tanglefoot, Ptarmigan and Dewar Creek wildfires.

More: Area restrictions enacted around three East Kootenay Wildfires (July 19, 2021)

Fires being held or under control

Firefighters have gained hold of three wildfires in the region: an 11-hectare blaze near Big Lake, east of Highway 93, south of Wasa, a two-hectare fire near Sheep Creek north of Highway 3 between Creson and Salmo and a 26-hectare burn in the Granite Creek area in the Purcell Mountains.

The remaining wildfires across the East Kootenay are under control, including a 29-hectare wildfire in the Moyie River area.

The Bear Creek fire is also under control at 1.5 hectares in size.

More: BC Wildfire Service dashboard


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