As several fires in the West Kootenay grew in size Saturday stirred up by winds, the air quality in the region reached the worst levels of the season. By 6:30 p.m. streetlights were turning on as the thick smoke blocked out the sun.
Syringa/ Deer Park
The Syringa Creek Fire grew to 419 hectares in size. The fire is burning in steep and remote terrain making it unsafe for crews to fight at this time.
The Deer Creek Fire burning northwest of Deer Park is now 225 hectares.
The evacuation alert covers:
All of Syringa Provincial Park and southeast along Lower Arrow Lake to the Hugh Keenleyside Dam in Robson. The alert covers a large area and includes 26 residential addresses — including the Waterfront at Arrow Lake which has 57 units — and a popular campground with approximately 100 camp sites.
The area from south of Deer Park at Cayuse Creek, northwest along the lake to the end of Broadwater Road, and north to the end of Deer Creek Forest Service Road. The alert covers 77 residential addresses.
The Horns Mountain Fire (called the Santa Rosa Fire in B.C.) in Washington State has crossed into B.C. south of Rossland. There are also a number of smaller fires burning in the Sheep Creek area, that are all being actioned.
The RDCK reports that Kootenay Boundary firefighters from Rossland and Warfield conducted advanced planning in the area – locating water supplies, constructing pump platforms, and undertook other activities in case the deployment of a structural protection unit is needed. Fire fighters also reached out to local residents to inform them of wildfire activities.
Representatives from RDKB Emergency Operations Centre and B.C.Wildfire Service are attending the Incident Command Post in Northport, Washington to gather more information on this fire.
An evacuation alert is in place for all properties within the Big Sheep Creek drainage southwest of Rossland including Hadley Road, Thompson Road, Big Sheep Creek Road, and the portion of the Old Rossland Cascade Highway in the Sheep Creek area. It also includes all properties east of the two kilometer mark on the Santa Rosa Road east of Christina Lake.
The main fire burning south of Renata is now being called the Bull Dog Mountain Fire. It is a fire of note.
The fire has reached 605 hectares.
As a precautionary measure and in the interest of public safety, the Regional District of Central Kootenay has issued an evacuation alert for the area. Visit the RDCK’s website for further information.
Three firefighters and 2 pieces of heavy equipment were on site Saturday.
An area restriction is in effect for the area within the boundary of Dog Creek, Grass Creek, Bulldog Eight Forest Service Road and the height of land connecting the noted perimeters.
Further to the southeast, the Moberly Creek fire is sitting at 18 hectares in size.
The Blazed Creek Fire which has caused intermittent closures and lane reductions on Highway 3 between Salmo and Creston has grown to 5642 hectares.
Crews along with heavy equipment and air support are working to protect critical infrastructure, which includes power lines.
DriveBC is advising that the road is reduced to single lane alternating traffic in both directions 20 km west of Creston on Kootenay Pass due to wildfire suppression activities. Travellers should be prepared for unscheduled delays.
Kokanee Glacier Park
The Blacktail Mountain fire has been burning since July 19 and is 2087 hectares in size and remains zero percent contained. An area restriction is in effect for the entire Silverton Creek drainage, including Idaho Peak.