The Octopus Creek wildfire on Aug. 19. Photo: BC Wildfire Service

The Octopus Creek wildfire on Aug. 19. Photo: BC Wildfire Service

Area restrictions lifting on Arrow Lakes wildfires

Smoke may still be visible for weeks to come at Michaud Creek and Octopus Creek wildfires

Area restrictions for the Octopus Creek and Michaud Creek wildfires along Lower Arrow Lake will be rescinded at 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 24.

The BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) says the decision was made because firefighting personnel no longer need to restrict public access to operate efficiently and safely in the area.

However, BCWS is reminding the public that even if an area restriction has been rescinded, officials still have the authority under the Wildfire Act to ask people to leave the area.

Before entering any area affected by a wildfire, people should be aware that significant safety hazards may be present. Fire-damaged trees may be unstable and could fall down. Ash pits can be hard to detect and can remain hot long after the flames have died down.

BCWS says nearby communities can still expect to see smoke within the fire’s perimeter over the coming weeks.

Smoke appearing from well within the fire perimeter and burned material is common. However, smoke that rises from green, unburned fuel or from outside a fire’s perimeter should be reported immediately.

The Michaud Creek wildfire burned 14,032 hectares. The fire was originally sparked by lightning on July 10.

The Octopus Creek wildfire burned 22,049 hectares. It was started by lightning on July 11.

Both fires are now considered under control and are not expected to extend beyond current perimeters.

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betsy.kline@castlegarnews.com

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B.C. Wildfires 2021castlegar