Residents told Sitkum Creek wildfire 20 percent contained
More than 200 people gathered Wednesday evening at école de Sentiers-alpins (formerly A. I. Collinson School) to attend a public address on the
Duhamel-Sitkum Creek wildfire burning on Nelson’s North Shore.
Incident Commander Glen Burgess, whose team arrived on the scene Tuesday morning once the fire had outgrown the capacity of local crews to address, told the crowd that the 380-hectare wildfire is currently 20 percent contained.
He assured concerned residents that the fire is “extremely high priority for BC Wildfire Service”.
“We’re hoping to achieve a good level of containment in about ten days,”
said Burgess, noting that approximately 90 firefighters are at work on the
blaze including three helicopters, 15 support staff, and nine pieces of
“We are getting the resources we need to put our plan in place and contain the fire.”
Burgess said that current efforts are concentrated on the southern flank of
the fire above homes as well as the east flank up Sitkum Creek, with ground
crews beginning to move west into Duhamel creek.
“Right now it’s about homes,” said Burgess. “We won’t expend energy on the
western flank until all residential areas are secure.”
When asked when the blaze would be fully extinguished, Burgess responded,
“well, that’s up to mother nature,” citing that it would take about 25-30mm
of rain to douse the flames. Current forecasts call for clear skies until Saturday.
When a local suggested that the assembled perform positive visualizations
and a rain dance, Burgess responded, “If you’ve got some influence on that – please”.
Some concerned residents asked why Lower Six Mile Road had not been
included in the evacuation alert, and Burgess cited the highway as a significant barrier between the fire and lower 6-mile homes.
Other residents wanted to know how they could help the fire crew’s efforts, or how they could better prepare their homes in the event of an evacuation.
Burgess responded that the most locals could do was to keep their families
safe, and to immediately report to either the Nelson and District Community
Complex or the Balfour Hall.
“You are our top priority,” he assured the crowd. “We want to know that you
are safe and accounted for. You can leave the rest up to us”.
For a more detailed summary of the meetings proceedings, visit the Regional District of Central Kootenay Webpage.