City of Cranbrook

September 13, 2017

Fire Recap & Information On East Kootenay Fires - September 12, 2017

Here is the evening round up from the BC Wildfire Service & the RDEK on the fire front:

Lamb Creek – This fire estimated at 1978 hectares. It was a good day for crews today on the fire. Today, they undertook planned, small-scale hand ignitions to reinforce the guard on the southeast side of the fire. There were 110 personnel on site today with 21 pieces of heavy equipment, along with four helicopters and air tankers when required.   The evacuation ORDER remains in effect for Moyie North and Moyie South.  In today's Video #7B, BC Wildfire Info Officer Mike McCulley talks in more detail about the Lamb Creek fire.

Linklater – There was no change reported on the Linklater fire today and crews continue to make progress. The fire remains estimated at 927 hectares on the Canadian side of the border (on the US side, it is estimated at over 8340 hectares)   There were 34 firefighters and 5 pieces of heavy equipment along with 1 helicopter working the fire today mopping up and hitting hot spots.  An evacuation ALERT remains in place for the west side of Lake Koocanusa in the Newgate area.

Quinn Creek – This fire is estimated at 6576 hectares in size and is in the Bull River drainage. The fire has been active on the northern side. It remains within the Bull River drainage and has moved to the beginning of  upper Brule Creek. There were 22 personnel, 2 helicopters and 5 pieces of heavy equipment on the fire today. Air tankers and helicopters have established a retardant line on the ridge on the east side of the drainage to prevent further movement eastward and a portable retardant pit has been set up. Crews are also working to establish control lines on the southern edge of this fire.  An evacuation ALERT was issued Tuesday for the District of Elkford and all the rural properties north of Sparwood (including Line Creek, Fording River and Green Hills). The alert does NOT include the District of Sparwood.  Click here for today's video update on the Quinn Creek Fire.

White River Complex – The fire is estimated at 22,500 hectares. A dedicated Incident Management Team has taken over the operation of this fire and have established a camp in the Canal Flats area.  Today, there were 105 firefighters, 4 helicopters, and 6 pieces of heavy equipment on the fire. Helicopters bucketed along the southern flank today and will be reassigned to other areas as necessary. Heavy equipment was also working in the southern end of the fire to provide safe access for crews. Additional crews will be arriving shortly.  In the vicinity of Whiteswan Lake, structure protection units are in place as a precautionary measure.The evacuation ORDER for the Whiteswan area remains in effect.

Soowa Mountain – This fire is estimated to be 909 hectares in size and is located south east of Elko. It is visible from Highway 3 and Elko and continues to generate smoke but it is not threatening any communities at this time. Today there were initial attack crews positioned between the fire and the community of Elko to prevent embers from igniting a new fire in the area to the northwest of the fire.  Click here for today's video update on the Quinn Creek and Soowa Mountain Fires.

Flathead Area Fires (including Lodgepole) – An Incident Management Team is en route and will soon be taking over the management of the fires in the Flathead area. A camp is in the process of being established for the crews and personnel. It's anticipated they will assume command of the fires toward the end of the week. The BC Wildfire Service will provide more information once these teams are in place.There are no threats to communities at this time.

St. Mary River – Crews are continuing to mop-up a 150 ft perimeter around the plateau portion of this fire. There were 26 firefighters and one piece of equipment on the fire today. The RDEK's evacuation alert for the Mission / Fort Steele area was LIFTED this morning and there are no longer any alerts or orders for this fire.

White Creek – This fire continues to burn in a high-elevation, remote area north west of Kimberley. It is estimated to be 322 hectares in size and is not threatening any communities.

Parks Canada Fires of Note:

Kenow – This fire started in BC and moved into Alberta, prompting the evacuation of Waterton National Park and townsite, and portions of Cardston Rural,  MD of Pincher Creek and the Blood Reserve. No structures or communities are threatened in BC. The Wildfire quickly grew in size into Alberta and demonstrated extreme fire behaviour for many hours due to high winds and critically dry fuels. There are over 185 personnel, 14 aircraft, and multiple fire engines/tenders working on the fire as Alberta Agriculture and Forestry and Parks Canada respond.  For more information, visit: http://www.pc.gc.ca/apps/scond/Cond_E.asp?oID=29247&oPark=100429.

Verdant Creek – The Verdant Creek wildfire is active in Kootenay National Park and Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park. The fire remains on the west side of the Continental Divide and east of Highway 93 South. The fire is currently estimated to be approximately 17,644 hectares.  A significant change in weather along with substantial rainfall is needed for the fire to be fully extinguished.  Highway 93S between Radium and Castle Junction remains open; however, it can be impacted by smoke and wildfire suppression activites, so it's recommended travellers check Drive BC and Alberta 511 for possible temporary closures, alternate routes and the most up-to-date information.

Other Items of Note:

• School District #5, Southeast Kootenay has closed Rocky Mountain Elementary and Elkford Secondary School until further notice due to the evacuation alert in the Elkford area.  The School District will provide updates and communicate with families through the School District website www.sd5.bc.ca
• The Air Quality Advisory / Smoky Skies Bulletin remains in effect
• To report a fire or smoke plume, please call *5555 or toll free 1-800-663-5555
• A reminder that we forward information we receive from the BC Wildfire Service (related to fires in the area) and other agencies. Each evening I try to send a detailed update that covers as many fires as possible. 

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