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UPDATED: August 3 report on the Nk’Mip Creek Wildfire

There are 186 firefighters, six helicopters and 24 pieces of heavy machinery that have been deployed to fight the Nk’Mip Creek wildfire. — BC Wildfire Service photo

During the weekend, according to BC Wildfire Service battling the Nk'Mip Creek Wildfire:

  • Fire growth was observed on the northeastern flank, however, cooler, more humid weather has helped firefighting efforts.
  • The fire is now estimated to have burned more than 16,005 hectares.
  • There are 186 firefighters, six helicopters and 24 pieces of heavy machinery that have been deployed to fight the wildfire.

July 28 report on the Nk’Mip Creek Wildfire 

According to the BC Wildfire Service:

  • An Incident Management Team, 134 firefighters, five helicopters, 46 structure protection personnel, 26 pieces of heavy equipment and numerous other support positions are working on the Nk’Mip Creek wildfire. In total, there are 244 personnel currently committed to the response operation.
  • Fire activity has been moderate with mostly surface fire and some trees torching. The fire is still active but not as challenging. Heavy equipment has made good progress on the eastern cat guard. Firefighting personnel and heavy equipment remain on site overnight doing structure protection.
  • The BC Wildfire Service has implemented an Area Restriction Order for the vicinity of the Nk'Mip Creek wildfire (K52061). View information about this Area Restriction including a map on their Wildfires of Note web page: Wildfires of Note (gov.bc.ca)
  • The fire has burned more than 6,800 hectares, and the BC Wildfire Service will update fire size when conditions allow.

•    248 addresses are on evacuation order and 192 addresses on evacuation alert in Electoral Area E/West Boundary. The order and alert areas in the RDKB affect the communities of Sidley, Mount Baldy, Bridesville and Rock Creek. A full list of addresses as well as maps of the evacuation order and alert areas in the RDKB are available at emergency.rdkb.com.

•    If you are ordered to evacuate, you are expected to leave your property. Ignoring an evacuation order puts you, your animals and emergency personnel at risk.

•    Evacuees are asked to register with the Red Cross online at ess.gov.bc.ca or in person at the evacuation centre in the Village of Midway at the Boundary Expo Recreation Centre at 734 Seventh Avenue.

•    Everyone is encouraged to sign up for the RDKB Emergency Alerting System at https://ca.voyent-alert.com/vras/user-registration.html or through emergency.rdkb.com.

July 26 Update

The BC Wildfire Service updated the information Monday regarding the Nk’Mip Creek wildfire.

  • Today, 43 firefighters are on the fireline, receiving assistance from five helicopters and 46 pieces of heavy equipment. An Incident Management Team and other support positions make the total number of personnel on the Nk’Mip Creek wildfire 146.
  • An additional 100 firefighters have arrived in Canada from Mexico and will join suppression efforts on the Nk’Mip Creek wildfire tomorrow.
  • Strategic burnout operations and cat-guards along the west side of the fire have been successful at preventing the fire in that direction. Heavy equipment is working to create guards around an excursion across Camp McKinney Road.
  • Line location and heavy equipment are working on a new machine guard ahead of the fire's east flank that will connect with the south machine guard.
  • Fire behaviour continues to be aggressive and challenging as conditions remain hot and dry.
  • The RDKB thanks all residents of the West Boundary for sharing important wildfire information with their neighbours and watching out for one another. This is a very difficult and scary time for a lot of people. We all need to work together.

RDKB orders additional 126 properties to evacuate in Area E/West Boundary due to Nk’Mip Creek Wildfire

Emergency officials at the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary have issued evacuation orders to an additional 126 properties in and around the Baldy Mountain neighbourhood of Electoral Area E/West Boundary as the Nk’Mip Creek Wildfire continues to grow.

The total number of properties now under evacuation order is 248, and 318 properties remain on evacuation alert until further notice.

The new area now under evacuation order had been on evacuation alert since July 20. The BC Wildfire Service confirmed with the RDKB overnight that residents would need to leave the area this morning.

The evacuation order area includes Mt Baldy Ski Resort extending east to include the west side of Fish Lake West Road, Belchrome Forest Service Road and Conkle Lake Provincial Park. All evacuation orders and alerts along with a complete list of addresses and maps of the applicable areas are available at emergency.rdkb.com. Evacuation orders are delivered to each household by emergency personnel. Evacuation alerts are not.

Anyone ordered to evacuate should gather only essential belongings and exit along Highway 3 toward the Village of Midway where an evacuation centre is set up at the Boundary Expo Recreation Centre (the arena) at 734 Seventh Avenue.

McKinney Rd is closed at the intersection of Mount Baldy Road down to Oliver. All evacuees are asked to register online at ess.gov.bc.ca or in person in Midway.

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen has also issued evacuation orders for properties in the Anarchist Mountain area south of Highway 3. Those orders are available at https://emergency.rdos.bc.ca/.

Anyone on evacuation alert should prepare for the possibility of an evacuation order by doing the following:

  • Locate those people in your household or family group and designate a meeting place outside the evacuation alert area should an evacuation order be issued while you are separated from one another.
  • Arrange accommodations with family or friends outside the area.
  • Gather essential items: The 5 P’s (People, Pets, Prescriptions, Papers and Photos).
  • Prepare to move any disabled persons and /or children.
  • Move pets and livestock to a safe area outside the area
  • Monitor news sources for additional information.
  • If an order is issued, residents must leave their homes immediately.

 

Evacuation order remains for 122 properties, 304 on alert in West Boundary

An evacuation order remains in place for 122 properties in Electoral Area E/West Boundary in the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) and a further 304 properties remain on evacuation alert due to the 2000-hectare Nk’Mip Creek Wildfire that is burning in both the RDKB and the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen.

The order and alert areas in the RDKB affect the communities of Mount Baldy, Bridesville and Rock Creek in Electoral Area E/West Boundary.

 A full list of addresses as well as maps of the evacuation order and alert areas are available at emergency.rdkb.com.

“It’s difficult to be ordered to evacuate or to have to be ready to leave your home at a moment’s notice,” said Area E/West Boundary Director Vicki Gee.

 “It’s even more difficult if you have cattle or livestock you also need to move, which is the case for many residents in the West Boundary.

“RDKB staff are working with the BC Cattlemen’s Association and the BC Wildfire Service to improve communication with ranchers and farmers during emergencies.”

RDKB Chair Diane Langman said the Boundary region is dry, hot and extremely susceptible to wildfire right now with these evacuation orders and alerts affecting over 400 residents in the Boundary.

“We need any visitors to the RDKB to stay clear of the areas where active alerts and orders are in place,“ Langman said.

"We are asking all residents and visitors to please stay alert, informed and sign up for our emergency/evacuation notification system at emergency.rdkb.com so they can receive any alerts the RDKB may issue related to wildfires or other emergencies”.

Anyone in the West Boundary who needs assistance signing up to receive emergency/evacuation alerts can go to the Midway or Greenwood public libraries, to the Riverside Centre in Rock Creek or to the Beaverdell Post Office during business hours and a volunteer will help them sign up.

The RDKB has set up an evacuation centre at the Jack Goddard Memorial Arena at 2020 Central Avenue in Grand Forks. All evacuees are asked to register online at ess.gov.bc.ca or in person at the evacuation centre.

People who are under mandatory evacuation in British Columbia can also register with the Red Cross by calling 1-800-863-6582, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., PT. Registration with the Red Cross ensures people are accounted for, can be contacted while away from home, and can also be reached with information on further Red Cross services and assistance that may become available to them during this time of need.

State of local emergency in Area E/West Boundary due to Nk’Mip Creek Wildfire

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary has declared a state of local emergency in Electoral Area E/West Boundary due to the Nk’Mip Creek Wildfire’s advance eastward from the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen into the RDKB.

The RDKB has ordered residents at 122 addresses to evacuate their properties immediately and placed a further 304 properties on evacuation alert in advance of a forecast for increased winds.  

Properties ordered evacuated are on the north side of Highway 3 between the westerly boundary of RDKB (250 metres west of Sidley Mountain Road) to Mt. Baldy Road at the Canyon Bridge and north to the BC Hydro power lines.

The evacuation alert area extends northward from the BC Hydro power lines to Mt. Baldy Ski Resort; southward from Highway 3 to the Canada-US border; and eastward from Mt. Baldy Road at the Canyon Bridge to Rock Creek below the switchback.

A full list of addresses ordered evacuated along with a map of the evacuation order and alert areas is available at emergency.rdkb.com. Evacuation orders are delivered to each household by emergency personnel. Evacuation alerts are not.

Anyone ordered to evacuate should gather only essential belongings and exit along Highway 3 toward the City of Grand Forks where an evacuation centre is now being set up. All evacuees are asked to register online at ess.gov.bc.ca or in person at the Jack Goddard Memorial Arena at 2020 Central Avenue in Grand Forks.

People who are under mandatory evacuation in British Columbia can also register with the Red Cross by calling 1-800-863-6582, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., PT. Registration with the Red Cross ensures people are accounted for, can be contacted while away from home, and can also be reached with information on further Red Cross services and assistance that may become available to them during this time of need.

“We have issued these orders and alerts because BC Wildfire has informed us of the potential for a change in the prevailing winds that could push the wildfire to burn more in a southeasterly direction into dry fuels,” said Mark Stephens, EOC Director.

Anyone on evacuation alert should prepare for the possibility of an evacuation order by doing the following:

Locate those people in your household or family group and designate a meeting place outside the evacuation alert area should an evacuation order be issued while you are separated from one another.

  • Arrange accommodations with family or friends outside the area.
  • Gather essential items: The 5 P’s (People, Pets, Prescriptions, Papers and Photos).
  • Prepare to move any disabled persons and /or children.
  • Move pets and livestock to a safe area outside the area.
  • Monitor news sources for additional information.
  • If an order is issued, residents must leave their homes immediately.

The RDKB asks all residents to register for the RDKB Emergency Alerting System at https://ca.voyent-alert.com/vras/user-registration.html
or through emergency.rdkb.com.

For more information:

The RDKB will continue to update the public as new information is available.