Fire closes access to Whiteswan park

Whitetail Brook fire has grown to 400 hectares since Sunday; lightning has sparked another six small fires in the Whiteswan area

An out-of-control wildfire near Canal Flats has more than doubled in size in 24 hours, prompting the closure of Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park and access roads.

The Whitetail Brook fire near Canal Flats was caused by lightning and detected on Sunday, July 27. On Tuesday, it was 150 hectares, but by Wednesday lunchtime it had grown to an estimated 400 hectares in size. It’s not at all contained, according to the Wildfire Management Branch.

What’s more, a lightning storm that moved through the area on Tuesday, July 29 sparked another six small fires around Whiteswan, said Fanny Bernard, fire information officer at Southeast Fire Centre.

“Aside from the fire at Whitetail Brook, there was six new small fires since (Tuesday’s) lightning storm,” said Bernard.

As a result, Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park has been closed, she went on.

“That has prompted the Wildfire Management Branch in communication with B.C. Parks to close down access to Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park, including Lussier Hot Springs until further notice.

“BC Parks staff is currently informing campers in the area that they need to leave the area.”

Forestry roads in the area have also been closed. Whiteswan Forest Service Road is closed from the highway; White Rock Forest Service Road is closed; and Kootenay Forest Service Road is closed from Canal Flats to the 34-kilometre mark. The closures mean access to Top of the World Provincial Park is also cut off.

There are no structures threatened by any of the fires.

The Whitetail Brook fire has grown to the northeast, rather than the south or the west where communities and infrastructure is located. It is being fought by 50 firefighters, eight pieces of heavy equipment, three water tenders, three medium helicopters and one light helicopter.

“We are asking the public to continue to be extra careful when they are out with campfires or when they are in the backcountry so that our resources are available to respond to these naturally occurring wildfires,” said Bernard.

If you see any suspected wildfire or unattended campfire, phone 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on most cellphones.

“Even if you suspect that somebody else must have called in smoke, do it anyway,” she continued. “The public reports a third of our wildfires.”

Just Posted

The Kimberley Refugee Resettlement Group is active again after a few years off and are working to find a home for Gloria in Kimberley. Photo taken at a KRRG fundraiser several years ago. Bulletin file.
Kimberley Refugee Resettlement Group active once more

KRRG working to find a refugee a safe place to live in Kimberley

The Kimberley Aquatic Centre is set to reopen its doors to the public on July 6, after being shut down due to the pandemic in March, 2020. The Centre will be initially operating with reduced occupancy and limited program offerings. Bulletin file.
Kimberley Aquatic Centre set to re-open July 6

New safety infrastructure, limited guests and programming allow facility to open again

Interior Health is reporting a COVID-19 exposure at Selkirk Secondary in Kimberley. Bulletin file.
COVID-19 case identified at Selkirk Secondary in Kimberley

Interior Health is conducting contact tracing

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

Calvin Dickson photo.
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for East Kootenay

Conditions favourable for the development of thunderstorms, hail and heavy rain

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Grace (left), a caribou that was born in a maternal pen north of Revelstoke, is alive and well said the province. It appears she even has a calf. Maternity pens aim to increase caribou calf survival by protecting them from predation until they are older and less vulnerable. (Contributed)
For the first time in years, caribou numbers increasing near Revelstoke

North herd growing but south herd still concerning

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

Kelowna General Hospital. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna General Hospital declared over

Three people tested positive for the virus — two patients and one staff — one of whom died

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

Most Read