Wildfire smoke from south of the border continues to blanket West Kootenay/Boundary; advisory remains in place
The Southeast Fire Centre said the smoke that filling valleys in the West Kootenay and Boundary regions is coming from Washington, Idaho and the Okanagan.
The thick smoke has prompted Environment Canada, in conjuction with Interior Health, to issue a smoke advisory Boundary and Kootenay regions. The adivsory was updated at 4:46 a.m. Friday.
“Smoke from these fires is expected to linger in the region due to prevailing winds from the south and west,” said the Southeast Fire Centre media release.
The release went on to say although the BC Wildfire Service is responding to a number of fires that are highly visible in surrounding communities, none of these fires is immediately threatening communities or structures.
The Southeast Fire Centre said the public may see an increase in the amount of smoke and more firefighting air operations in response to these incidents:
- The fire west of Rossland in the Big Sheep Creek area now covers 140 hectares. Twenty BC Wildfire Service personnel and four helicopters are on site.
- The fire burning ten kilometres north of Christina Lake on the Paulson Pass is 260 hectares in size. Fifty personnel, eight pieces of heavy equipment and four helicopters are working on this fire. Motorists are advised to check out driving information on Highway 3 on the Drive BC website.
- The Hanna Creek fire, located northwest of Oasis, currently covers 0.64 hectares and is 20% contained. Nine personnel and one helicopter are on site.
- The 332-hectare fire burning on Mount Midgley, northwest of Creston, is now 50% contained. Sixty BC Wildfire Service personnel, five helicopters and nine pieces of heavy equipment continue to work on this fire.
- Smoke from the Parker Ridge fire is also highly visible in the Creston region. This 2,500-hectare wildfire is burning south of the U.S.-Canada border.
- A fire burning 5.6 kilometres northwest of Renata currently covers eight hectares. Eight firefighters, three helicopters and three pieces of heavy equipment are on site today.
- The 0.9-hectare Kelly Mountain fire, seven kilometres northeast of Fruitvale, is now 100% contained.
Thursday evening, BC Wildfire Service representatives and Regional District of Kootenay Boundary officials hosted public meetings to update residents of Grand Fork and Christina Lake about the Stickpin wildfire in Washington State.
The Stickpin Fire is at 16830 hectares and is burning on the Kettle Crest between Curlew and Orient. The fire is now 10 percent contained, officials said.
There’s an estimated 220 fires that continue to burn across B.C., out of a total of more than 1,600 that have sparked since Apr. 1.
During a visit recently to Midway, Premier Christy Clark predicted the cost of fighting fires this season could balloon to as much as $400 million.
The Premier said the province budgets for fires on a five-year average, working out to about $60 million a year.
To report a wildfire or an open burning violation in B.C., call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.
For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: http://www.bcwildfire.ca
You can also follow the latest wildfire news on:
* Twitter at: http://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo
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For information about wildfires in the United States, please visit: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov