BC Wildfire Service resources are fighting a wildfire at Connell Ridge approximately 15 kilometres south of Cranbrook. Photo courtesy BC Wildfire Service.

BC Wildfire Service resources are fighting a wildfire at Connell Ridge approximately 15 kilometres south of Cranbrook. Photo courtesy BC Wildfire Service.

Connell Ridge Fire south of Cranbrook grows to 1,350 hectares

The Connell Ridge Fire, burning 23 km south of Cranbrook, has grown to about 1,350 hectares as of Sunday night, August 7, according to an update from the BC Wildfire Service.

An Evacuation Alert remains in effect for six properties south of Baker Mountain on Gold Creek Forest Service Road.

An area restriction around the Connell Ridge wildfire was issued late last week by the BC Wildfire Service. The area restriction means no one can enter the defined area unless they are travelling to and from a home that is not under an evacuation order, have permission from a fire official, or are assisting in fire suppression efforts.

The area restriction will be in effect until Oct. 15.

The boundary runs from the junction of Gold Gravel Pit road and East Kootenay SA, west and south along Baker West Road to Gold/Joseph Connector, continuing south on Gold Creek Watershed road and Gold Creek Main, southwest along the height of land to Teepee Creek Main, continuing northeast on Teepee Main to Gold Creek, north west to the point of commencement along Gold Creek.

Travel will also be restricted on the Gold Creek FSR and Teepee FSR within the boundary.

Resources on the fire Sunday, August 7, included: 69 firefighters, seven helicopters, 27 pieces of heavy equipment. There are currently: three unit crews, two initial attack crews, one Structure Protection Specialist, the Incident Management Team and other operational and support staff supporting the response.

The north and northeast section of the fire is burning in steep and inoperable terrain.

Crews and equipment are making good progress on the construction of containment lines around the southeast, south, west, and northwest flanks of the fire.

Crews will be working on conducting minor ignition operations along the fire perimeter where appropriate.

Equipment is also working on the north flank of the wildfire to build containment lines.

Visit www.bcwildfire.ca for a map and overview of the Area Restriction.

Other wildfires in the East Kootenay include:

• The Cummings Creek Fire, five km northwest of Sparwood, is continuing to burn in steep and inoperable terrain. The fire has seen some growth.

• The Weasel Creek fire, east of Roosville, crossed the Canada–U.S. border August 4 and is currently burning into the Flathead Valley, two kilometres west of Frozen Lake. Approximately 482 of the total 965 hectares is burning on the Canadian side of the border.

• The Mount Nicholas fire northeast of Top of the World Provincial Park, is a new fire discovered August 6. Its estimated size is 2.1 hectares— suspected lightning caused.

• The Stair Lakes fire, northwest of Kimberley, is estimated at 65 hectares. Suspected to be lightning caused, this fire is burning in St. Mary’s Alpine Park east of Stair Lakes.

• The Gilnockie Provincial Park fire, east of Yahk, is estimated at 1.3 hectares. Suspected to be lightning caused, this fire is burning in a remote area in Gilnockie Provincial Park east of Yahk near the Canada/U.S. Border.

The weather is expected to remain hot and dry for the next few days. Wildfire activity will likely increase particularly in the afternoon and early evening as humidity levels drop during the warmest part of the day.

The fire danger rating for the region remains high to extreme. There is a full fire ban in effect for the East Kootenay – which includes campfires and fireworks.

A fire ban is also now in place in Banff, Yoho, and Kootenay National Parks due to the extreme conditions and wildfire risk.