City of Cranbrook

September 6, 2017

Local Wildfire Information Update - September 5, 2017

BC Wildfire Information / Fire Updates: (September 5, 2017) *Provided courtesy of the RDEK and BC Wildfire Service

The new BC Wildfire Information Officer is now in place and has been going non-stop today getting familiar with the fires and systems.  He prepared three community bulletins today and I have attached them for you.  

Lamb Creek
St. Marys Creek
Linklater Creek

The smoke has been beyond thick across many parts of the region, and although it is highly unpleasant, there is a positive side to all this smoke: it keeps the temperatures down and increases the relative humidity, which helps calm down fire behaviour. 
 
• The Linklater fire experienced little growth overnight.  The Evacuation Order for Newgate / West Koocanusa remains in effect for the west side of the lake, and the Evacuation Alert for the Grasmere area remains in effect on the east side of the lake.
• The Lamb Creek fire experienced little growth overnight.  The Evacuation Order for the Moyie area remains in effect.
• The St. Mary’s River Fire experienced no growth overnight and crews continue to make good progress on it.  The Evacuation Alert remains in place for the Mission / Fort Steele area and 36 homes on the Aqam Reserve.
More details on these three fires are included in the attached bulletins.

The BC Wildfire Service also provided an update today on some of the modified response fires in the region.  Due to the location of these fires, some of them are being monitored only or limited sections of the fires are being responded to where it is safe and effective to do so. This type of fire suppression strategy is called "Modified Response" and involves BC Wildfire Service personnel monitoring a fire's activity to ensure it remains within a specific parameter and meets land management guidelines.

Kenow Mountain (N11966)
• Located about 6 kilometres north of the U.S. border, 71 kilometres southeast of Baynes Lake is now burning into the province of Alberta.
• This lightning caused fire is currently estimated to be 4,420-hectares and is located in high elevation moving in a northeast direction. This fire is currently not threatening any communities.
• Alberta Forest Service is looking to implement containment lines along the height of land to slow down the fires progression into Alberta.
• This lightning caused fire is being closely monitored by BC Wildfire Service personnel.

Elder Creek wildfire (N11984)
• Located on the U.S. border, approximately 64 kilometres from Baynes Lake.
• This fire is currently estimated to be 750 hectares in size.
• Crews continue to co-ordinate fire suppression efforts with the U.S.
• This fire is currently not threatening any communities.
• The cause of this fire is under investigation.

Lodgepole FSR wildfire (N11971)
• Located approximately 33 kilometres southeast of Fernie.
• This lightning caused fire is currently estimated to be 1,751 hectares in size and is not currently threatening any communities.
• An increase in fire behaviour has made this fire unsafe for crews. This fire is being closely monitored.
• There is a forest service road closure on the Lodgepole Forest Service Road. However, at this time this area is inaccessible due to the Rocky Mountain Natural Resource District backcountry closure.

Soowa Mountain wildfire (N11976)
• Located approximately 20 kilometres east of Baynes Lake.
• This lightning caused fire is currently estimated to be 530 hectares in size and is not currently threatening any communities.
• Three BC Wildfire Service personnel worked to establish guard around values as well as set up structural protection units for values in the area.
• An increase in fire behaviour has made this fire unsafe for crews. This fire is being closely monitored.

Quinn Creek wildfire (N11664)
• Located approximately 35 kilometres northeast of Sparwood near Top of the World Provincial Park.
• This lightning caused fire is currently estimated to be 2,700-hectares in size and is not currently threatening any communities.
• Twenty-four BC Wildfire Service personnel set up structural protection units for values in the area.
• An increase in fire behaviour has made this fire unsafe for crews. This fire is being closely monitored.

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: www.bcwildfire.ca

Evacuation Orders / Alerts:

• The RDEK currently has evacuation ORDERS in effect in the following areas: Whiteswan Lake, Moyie (north and south), Newgate / West Koocanusa
• The RDEK currently has evacuation ALERTS in the effect in the following areas: east side Lake Koocanusa in the Grasmere area, Mission/Fort Steele, Aqam – 36 homes on Reserve
• There are currently NO alerts or orders for any of the municipalities in the East Kootenay. 

Other Items of Interest:

Air Quality
An air quality advisory remains in effect.  It is expected to continue to be smoky for a few days yet.

Mail – Moyie
Canada Post is keeping all mail for the Moyie Postal Service Area at the main Cranbrook Post Office. If you have a mailbox in Moyie, you can get your mail at the Cranbrook post office by showing a piece of photo ID.

Reception Centre
The ESS Reception Centre is open from 9am to 6pm daily.  In addition to the ESS volunteers, the Red Cross has a table set up.  We also have a laptop and WIFI available if anyone requires connectivity.
So far, we have had 1039 people register in person or remotely.

Highway Update
The highways are open, but travellers are reminded to drive with caution as there may be limited visibility due to heavy smoke.  The “no stopping / parking” zone remains in effect through the Moyie corridor.

Fondo Postponed
Due to the current fire situation, the 5th Annual Kootenay Rockies Grand Fondo has been postponed to September 8, 2018.  If you were registered to participate and would like to request a refund, you can email info@krgf.ca

Reminders:
• The campfire ban remains in effect.
• The backcountry closure remains in effect.
• To report a fire or plume of smoke, call *5555 on a cell or 1-800-663-5555

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