The interface fire above the Trail hospital is now estimated at two hectares in size, but the calming winds and lower temperatures are aiding crews in what has been a fierce attempt to knock down the blaze.
Emergency Program Coordinator Chris Marsh says the hospital has been making preparations to move people if necessary, but there are no evacuation alerts or orders in place, although non-acute patients are being asked to attend the Castlegar Emergency Department, which will be staying open until midnight to accommodate walk-ins.
On scene as of 7:40 p.m. are two initial attack crews from BC Wildfire Services and 30 members of the Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Services, while the Command Post between the high school and hospital boasts support from BCAS, IHA, RCMP and the City of Trail. Most of these personnel will be at work throughout the night.
Air support services were stood down at roughly 7:25 p.m. due to failing daylight.
“I think air resources made a big difference on this fire,” Marsh said. “We'll have more crews at daybreak.”
He said the fire management happening today is not purely a reactive mechanism – there is training, there are resources, and there a protocols in place for just this sort of incident.
“Our local firefighters do a lot of training, not just for structure fires, but for wildland fires – they're our most important response,” he said, adding local governments and agencies put plans in place, “so that when something like this happens, everybody knows their role, and those linkages and communications are immediate.”
He has also committed to being available through the night to speak to media, should circumstances change in any significant way.