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UPDATED: No significant growth toward communities from Harrop Creek Wildfire

Residents from Harrop, Proctor, Sunshine Bay, Kootenay Lake Village were at the the Procter Community Hall Monday for an information meeting about the Harrop Creek Wildfire. Below is a map showing the location of the fire in comparison to the community. — Submitted photo

The Regional District of Central Kootenay Emergeny Operations Centre said in a media release Tuesday while the Harrop Creek Wildfire continues to burn, there has been no significant growth towards the communities below.

However, the RDCK EOC said the communities of Harrop, Procter, Sunshine Bay, and Kootenay Lake Village remain on Evacuation Alert.

Concerned residents jam Procter Community Hall to hear Harrop Creek Wildfire update

Approximately 200 concerned residents in the Harrop, Proctor, Sunshine Bay and Kootenay Lake Village areas jammed Procter Community Hall Monday to hear first-hand the state of the Harrop Wildfire during a special meeting called by the Regional District of Central Kootenay Emergeny Operations Centre.

BC Wildfire officials, joined by RDCK EOC staff and the RCMP, explained to home owners the state of the wildfire that had suddenly changed after winds increased activity, forcing the implementation of an Evacuation Alert Thursday.

“There is a lot going on throughout out BC,” said Mike Allan of BC Wildfire Service.

“(But) we are doing what we would be doing even if we had a cupboard full of staff.”

The Harrop Creek wildfire is located in the mountains approximately 10 kilometers south of Harrop-Procter. The community of Harrop-Proctor is located on the south shore of Kootenay Lake with only ferry access 20 kilometers north of Nelson on Highway 3A.

Allan said where most of the Harrop Creek fire is burning, aerial attack would not be effective in these types of weather conditions and terrain. 

Harrop Creek fire, currently estimated at 3142 hectares, is 10 percent contained with the north flank fully guarded. Allan said firefighters have laid out trigger points and lines if the fire behaviour changes and the wildfire begins to burn down the mountain toward the community.

Allan said crews are building a fire guard and getting water lines ready if needed with the guard approximately seven kilometers from the nearest home.

Harrop Creek wildfire is currently burning in steep and complex terrain with one helicopter, four pieces of heavy machinery as well as a few firefighters fighting the fire.

BC Wildfire Service said it's the unburned fuel between the two sections of the fire displayed activity which may have increased visibility.

The Harrop Mainline and East Harrop Mainline Forest Service Road remains closed to the public to aid in fire suppression efforts and to keep the public safe.

Also, speaking at the meeting was RDCK staff including Regional Fire Chief Andrew Bellerby, Balfour/Harrop Chief Nona Hannon and RCMP.

Bellerby spoke about emergency alert system and updates while Hannon encouraged residents to Fire Smart their residences.

The Evacuation Alert for the communities of Harrop, Procter, Sunshine Bay and Kootenay Lake Village remains in place.

In case the wildfire shifts causing the implementation of an Evacuation Order, the RDCK said Mary Hall at the Selkirk College Tenth Campus will be set up as the evacuation center to assist and lodge residents.

Residents who wish to receive text updates specific to the Harrop Creek wildfire for the duration of the incident can text HARROP to 778-400-1771. 

All residents are encouraged to prepare a 72 hour Grab and Go Emergency Kit for themselves and their families and to sign up for the RDCK Emergency Alert Notification System

Residents can also visit the BC Wildfire Status page for information on current wildfires in the area. 

The RDCK EOC will continue to provide updates as information becomes available through local media and the local government website.