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UPDATED: New fire burning in Clearwater Creek drainage

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
August 1st, 2014

Lightning has been blamed as a cause of a fire in the Clearwater Creek drainage following a storm Saturday afternoon said Fire Information Officer Jordan Turner Sunday.

The thunderstorm was centralized in the Nelson/Trail region.

The fire has grown to 17 hectares and crews are concentrating on containing the blaze.

Turner said another fire is being fought eight kilometers east of Silverton.

However, crews have been pulled from the fire due to the dangerous terrain.

Fire officials are assessing a safer way to get crews back on the fire.

The fire in the Woodbury drainage continues to burn at nine hectares.

There are also two smaller fires in the area, approximately one kilometer.

Turner said the lightning could cause more blazes in the area as fires can smoulder in the soil before erupting and spotted by fire officials.

Turner, who said most of the major fires in the region are located in the East Kootenay, said there have been more than 50 lightning-started fires since Thursday in the Southeast Fire Center.

The Southeast Fire Centre is made up of six zones.

The North Columbia zone office is in Revelstoke with a secondary base in Golden. Invermere zone office is located in Invermere. Kootenay Lake zone office is located in Nelson. The Arrow zone office is located in Castlegar and there is a secondary base in Nakusp. Cranbrook zone office is in Cranbrook and Boundary zone office is in Grand Forks with a secondary base in Rock Creek.

Anyone seeing a fire or an unattended campfire, call 1 800 663-5555 toll- free or *5555 on a cellphone.

Lightning storms turn up heat in Southeast Fire Centre

Lightning storms that passed through the West Kootenay region Wednesday are making staff at the Southeast Fire Centre a little nervous entering the BC Day Holiday weekend, said Fire Information Officer Jordan Turner.

“It’s really important for our crews to get a handle on these fires, especially right now with the larger fires in the province crews have been focussing on right now,” Turner told The Nelson Daily Thursday evening.

“We trying to get to the smaller fires before they become an issue during this hot, dry period.”

Turner said lightning caused a cluster of fires near Kokanee Glacier and Syringa Creek Provincial Parks.

North of Balfour, three fires are currently burning are eight kilometers west of Kootenay Lake and two kilometers south of Woodbury Creek — between Woodbury and Lendrum Creeks.

“They’re very close to the border but not inside (Kokanee Glacier Provincial) Park,” Turner said.

“One fire is 10 hectares in size while the other two are one hectare in size,” Turner added.

Turner said the fires, being fought using air tankers, helicopters and two initial attack crews are not visible from the Highway 31 north of Ainsworth.

The other cluster of fires is located five kilometers north of Deer Creek Park on the shore of Lower Arrow Lake.

“These fires are less than a hectare in size and are located in remote and very steep terrain,” he said. “Currently there are no crews able to get to the fire so we’re fighting them using air tankers and helicopters and trying to find a way to get crews in to fight the fire on the ground.”

The recent lightning storm also started a very small fire near Rover Creek on the south side of Kootenay River across from Bonnington, approximately 18 kilometers west of Nelson.

The Rover Creek fire is .2 of a hectare.

Turner said while the Rover Creek fire is not very large in size, there is a large column of smoke resulting from the small blaze.

The largest fire in the Southeast Fire Centre is White Tail Brook fire located 10 kilometers east of Canal Flats.

The fire, which is zero percent contained, has grown to 650 hectares and is being fought by 63 firefighters, three helicopters and eight pieces of heavy equipment.

As for the smoke filling the Kootenay Valley, Turner said that was coming from fires in Washington State.

Campers will be happy to know heading into the BC Day Holiday weekend, there is no campfire ban in the Southeast Fire Centre.

However, Turner is asking the public to be vigilant when enjoying campfires.

“Right now, while there is no campfire ban in place, we are asking the public to continue to check back to Southeast Fire Centre website for updates.

Some tips to guarantee enjoyment around the campfire and the thought of a mistake could lead any member of the public accountable for damages and fire suppression costs if your negligence results in a wildfire:

  • Bring a shovel or keep at least eight litres of water nearby to properly extinguish your campfire.
  • Campfires cannot be larger than 0.5 metres in height and 0.5 metres in diameter.
  • Do not light a campfire or keep it burning in windy conditions. Weather can change quickly and the wind may carry embers to other combustible material and start new fires.
  • You must maintain a one-metre fireguard around the campfire. This is a fuel-free area where all flammable materials (grass, kindling, etc.) have been removed.
  • Never leave a campfire unattended.
  • Make sure that the campfire is completely extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.

For information on air quality, as well as smoke forecasts for Western Canada, visit the BC Air Quality website.

For information on wildfires in Washington State, visit the state website.

Anyone seeing a fire or an unattended campfire, call 1 800 663-5555 toll- free or *5555 on a cellphone.

This post was syndicated from https://thenelsondaily.com
Categories: General

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