The Bill Nye Mountain fire near Wasa has been burning down toward the valley bottom, making it more visible according to the Southeast Fire Centre. Trevor Crawley photo

The Bill Nye Mountain fire near Wasa has been burning down toward the valley bottom, making it more visible according to the Southeast Fire Centre. Trevor Crawley photo

Bill Nye Mountain continues to be largest wildfire in Cranbrook zone

There remains only one wildfire of note in the Cranbrook Zone of the Southeast Fire Centre, that being the Bill Nye Mountain fire, but continued hot and dry conditions are challenging fire suppression efforts.

Below-average spring precipitation and above seasonal temperatures accelerated the drying of forest fuels at a rate not previously observed, making them highly susceptible to ignition. Fuels right now are very susceptible to ignition, and new starts are challenging initial attack success, says the BC Wildfire Service.

Things could be made more difficult with a wind advisory being issued for the Southeast for the next few days.

According to the latest information from the Southeast Fire Centre, the Bill Nye Mountain wildfire is estimated at 956 hectares, with wildfire behaviour low to moderate, though it does get more active as winds increase and pockets of unburned fuel are found. This fire moved downslope as it burned, finding new fuel, making it more visible to the communities of Wasa, Cranbrook and surrounding areas.

Ground crews and heavy equipment have made good progress building a control line at the base of the mountain, the information bulletin says. This machine guard was linked in with hand-built fuel free and crews are working on linking it into the pre-existing logging road on the west side. Helicopters have been providing regular aviation support in bucketing activities to cool hot spots and flying officers daily to monitor fire activity.

The Regional District of East Kootenay has an evacuation alert is in place for 54 properties in the Lazy Lake, Lakit Lake, Holmes Road, and Wildhorse FSR areas. For all inquiries on evacuation alerts attached to this incident, visit the Regional District of East Kootenay: www.rdek.bc.ca

Other wildfires of note in the Southeast Fire Centre include The Trozzo Creek wildfire in the Arrow Zone, now at 742 hectares; the Octopus Fire near Fauquier; the Michaud Creek fire near Edgewood, now at 2,670 hectares; and the Akokli Creek wildfire near Boxwsell at 865 hectares.

Since April 1, 2021, there have been 254 fires in the SEFC, 65 remain active and 36 new starts in the last seven days. This is above the five year average of 138 fire starts for this time of year. The BC Wildfire Service is responding to wildfires on a priority basis within the SEFC. The top priority is always human life and safety including our the safety of our responding crew members. The second priority is property. The third priority is the protection of areas with high environmental values including community watersheds and species at risk. The fourth priority is resource values.

To report a wildfire call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity and burning or forest restrictions, visit: http://www.bcwildfire.ca



carolyn.grant@kimberleybulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter