Local photographer Larry Tooze captured this image of lightning behind Marysville Monday evening.

Fires dot East Kootenay after thunderstorms

No communities are threatened, but there are more than a dozen wildfires burning in the East Kootenay’s central region

Thunderstorms over the long weekend have led to a cluster of new fires around Cranbrook and Kimberley.

As of Tuesday lunchtime, the Wildfire Management Branch was reporting 14 fires in the area between Creston and Fernie, Koocanusa and Canal Flats.

The most significant fire remains the Whitetail Brook fire, burning 10 kilometres east of Canal Flats. Now 1,550 hectares in size, firefighters have managed to contain 40 per cent of the fire, which started as a result of lightning on Sunday, July 27.

A Type 2 incident team is now in control of the fire, which is burning in a northeasterly direction, away from Canal Flats and the highway.

There are 110 firefighters, six helicopters and 13 pieces of heavy equipment working on the fire.

In the meantime, a wildfire just east of Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park has grown to 650 hectares in size. The lightning caused fire started on July 30.

The two fires have resulted in an area closure put in place last week to protect the safety of firefighters as well as the public.

Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park is closed until further notice, as is access to Top of the World Provincial Park.

The main Whiteswan Forest Service Road from Highway 93/95 junction to the 32 kilometre marker is closed, as is the main Kootenay Forest Service Road from the 3 kilometre marker to 34.5 kilometres (White Rock Forest Service Road and Kootenay Forest Service Road junction). The entire White Rock Forest Service Road is also closed. What’s more, Kootenay River users will also not be able to access areas included in this restriction.

A wildfire at Kikomun Creek near Koocanusa continues to rage, but hasn’t grown beyond 10 hectares when it was discovered on July 30.

On the opposite shore of Koocanusa, a spot fire was detected on August 3 west of Koocanusa near the U.S. border.

Closer to Cranbrook, there is an 11 hectare fire burning in Tanglefoot Creek, behind Fisher Peak. It was detected on August 1 and was caused by lightning.

West of Kimberley and Cranbrook, there are five fires. The largest is a 30 hectare fire at White Boar Lake. There are another three small fires at Perry Creek, Meachen Creek, Mallandaine Creek and St. Mary Lake, all less than a hectare in size. North of Kimberley, there is a spot fire at Tata Creek.

No communities or structures are threatened by any of the 14 fires in the area.

All of the fires burning around Cranbrook and Kimberley have been caused by lightning, with no human-caused fires reported despite the number of people recreating in the backcountry over the August long weekend.

Still, the Southeast Fire Centre wants to focus its attention on the large number of lightning-caused fires it is fighting, so a campfire ban came into effect yesterday, Tuesday, August 5 at 1 p.m.

Until further notice, there is a prohibition on:

• campfires

• the burning of any waste, slash or other materials

• stubble or grass fires of any size

• the use of burning barrels

• the use of fireworks, sky lanterns, tiki torches and outdoor fire pits

The prohibition does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or to a portable campfire apparatus with a CSA or ULC rating that uses briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel, so long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres.

Anyone found in violation of a fire prohibition, including campfires, may be issued a ticket for up to $345. Anyone who causes a wildfire through arson or recklessness may be fined up to $1 million, spend up to three years in prison and be held accountable for associated firefighting costs.

To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, phone 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on most cellular networks.

 

Just Posted

City of Kimberley reviews Snow and Ice Management Plan for 2019/20

The City of Kimberley is gearing up for another winter and preparing… Continue reading

Mark Creek Market donates $2250 to Kimberley Minor Hockey

The annual Super Saver Coupon book sale raised over $2000 for the minor hockey association

Interior Health launches GetCheckedOnline program in Kimberley

Kimberley residents now have easier access to anonymous testing for sexually transmitted and blood borne infections

It happened this week in 1912

Dec. 8 - 14: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the newspapers at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

Pacioretty scores 2, Golden Knights top Canucks 6-3

Vegas goalie Fleury gets win No. 452

B.C. VIEWS: Hunger does not end with the season

Despite innovations in food distribution, the need is still there in B.C. communities

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Most Read