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Crews making progress on West Kootenay wildfires, but new fire starts

At least 23 fires have started in recent days in the Southeast Fire Centre
The BC Wildfire Service continues responding to the Mount Ferguson fire Photo: BC Wildfire Service

The Southeast Fire Centre (SEFC) responded to 23 lightning-caused fires between July 21 and July 24, with 14 of the fires in the West Kootenay.

The SEFC says none of the fires are impacting communities as of press time Tuesday, but several are highly visible.

The SEFC had increased preparedness in the region in anticipation of the storm activity and says resources in the area remain adequate.

There is a cluster of six fires at Frog Peak in the Norns Range, about 6.5 kilometres west of Passmore. There are eight ground crews and one helicopter working on the cluster in a priority sequence, meaning fires closest to communities are prioritized first, according to the SEFC. Air tankers dropped retardant earlier in the week, and are available to repeat the action if deemed necessary. All of the fires remain under 1.5 hectares as of press time.

The Mount Fergusen fire is about four kilometres south of Harrop. There are nine ground crews working the fire and additional air support as needed. It is classified as being held.

The Burrell Creek fire started on Monday on the West side of Arrow Lake between Renata and Edgewood.

The Cove Creek fire in Valhalla Provincial Park remains small, but is listed as out of control.

A small fire at Wally Creek near Salmo is now listed as under control.

Several fires have already been delcared out including Lendrum Creek in Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park, Watshan Lake, Keystone Mountain north of Salmo, Halfway Creek fire near Salmo, Wales Forest Service Road near the Paulson Summit, Ground Creek fire southwest of Winlaw and Six Mile Lake north of Nelson.

With temperatures forecast to increase, the SEFC expects more fires to start in the coming days.

SEFC information officer Kim Wright says the best thing people can do to support fire suppression activities is to prepare themselves and their own properties ahead of time using FireSmart practices. This includes things as simple as keeping lawns mowed, leaves cleared and moving firewood piles away from your home.

READ MORE: Lytton’s Nohomin Creek fire sees some growth as heat wave hits B.C.

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Betsy Kline

About the Author: Betsy Kline

After spending several years as a freelance writer for the Castlegar News, Betsy joined the editorial staff as a reporter in March of 2015. In 2020, she moved into the editor's position.
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