The BC Wildfire Service has over 45 personnel combatting a wildfire southeast of Cranbrook, now entitled the South Teepee Fire by officials.
Experiencing minimal growth overnight, the blaze is now estimated to be 25.5 hectares in size, continuing to burn about 30 kilometres southeast of Cranbrook and 15 kilometres east of Moyie.
“On site, we have over 45 personnel engaging in response effort and we’re also being supported by heavy equipment and aviation resources including helicopters and air tankers as required,” Ashley Davidoff told MyEastKootenayNow.com, Fire Information Officer with the BC Wildfire Service.
“We did see air tankers actioning this fire (Wednesday) and that included the skimmer group filling on Lake Koocanusa.”
Davidoff said that while there was limited fire activity early on Thursday, the fire could grow in size as the day heats up and that smoke may be more apparent in Cranbrook, Moyie, along Highway 3 and in the surrounding area.
The South Teepee Fire is suspected to have been caused by a lightning strike.
“We did see lightning in the area a little while ago, so within the past few weeks, and sometimes the energy can get stored and kind of hold of from turning into anything, especially if there’s rainfall associated with that,” said Davidoff. “As we’re seeing some warmer weather, we may see some additional starts due to that lightning activity a little while ago.”
The BC Wildfire Service is patrolling the entire Southeast Fire Centre with a fixed-wing aircraft on Thursday, investigating areas where lightning was detected over the past few weeks.
“As we can track where lightning was experienced, we’re going to go and have a look at those areas and see if there’s anything that we need to be aware of.”
At this time, Davidoff said the South Teepee Fire is not a threat to any structures or nearby communities.
Background: New Wildfire Ignites Southeast of Cranbrook