A wildfire is burning in the Doctor Creek area near Blue Lake Camp. Photo courtesy Todd Hebert.

A wildfire is burning in the Doctor Creek area near Blue Lake Camp. Photo courtesy Todd Hebert.

Doctor Creek wildfire burning near Blue Lake Camp

Staff, guests evacuated from camp as fire in the Findlay Creek area grows to estimated 400 hectares

A few guests and staff were evacuated out of Blue Lake Camp on Wednesday night following an order from the Regional District of East Kootenay, as the nearby Doctor Creek wildfire continues to burn roughly 10 kilometres away.

Todd Hebert, the executive director of the Columbia Outdoor School, which operates the camp, says he was out on site Wednesday, and that the steep and rocky terrain in the southeast side of Findlay Creek area made it difficult for crews to work or aircraft to drop fire retardant.

Then the winds picked up, and the fire quickly made its way down the valley, he said.

Hebert added prevailing winds in the area generally come from the south/southwest, which would push the fire towards the direction of the camp.

“The fire will need to cross over the [Findlay] creek and then travel through a heavily logged area so that should slow it down somewhat,” Hebert wrote, in an email. “This open area will also, I suspect, be easier for the crews to action, lay and build guard.

“I am optimistic that camp will be fine, although the way this fire reacted yesterday [Wednesday] I am also cautious!”

Hebert says a few bookings at the lodge, and a few family vacation rentals, that were set for this weekend have been cancelled. He has also reached out to the Southeast Fire Centre to offer the camp to BC Wildfire Service crews as a place to stay while fighting the fire.

The Doctor Creek wildfire is currently estimated at 400 hectares, although the Southeast Fire Centre says the size is expected to grow as more accurate mapping becomes available and due to the aggressive nature of the fire caused by extremely dry fuels in the area.

Southeast Fire Centre information officer Kim Wright confirmed that there are currently 40 personnel members on site, as well as heavy equipment such as dozers and an excavator which are working on containment lines and structural protection

They also have aircraft in the area, being dispatched as assigned.

The fire, approximately 25 kilometres southwest of Canal Flats, is suspected to be lightning-caused.

The RDEK evacuation order also covers a number of recreation camping sites and a few private properties in the area.



trevor.crawley@cranbrooktownsman.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

Vancouver Giants defenceman Bowen Byram could be playing for Colorado when the NHL resumes play. (Rik Fedyck/file)
Cranbrook product Bowen Byram makes NHL debut with Avalanche

Highly touted prospect marks first pro game following World Junior tournament in Alberta

CNOY is a family friendly walk/fundraiser hosted by Canadian Mental Health Association for the Kootenays to help those who are hungry, homeless and hurting. Our goal is to raise at least $20,000 and we need your help! The CNOY is set for Feb. 20.
There’s a place for everyone: Coldest Night of the Year walk is back

CNOY fundraising walk to raise money for charities serving people experiencing homelessness, hurt, and hunger set for Feb. 20

1914
It happened this week in 1914

Jan. 17-23: Items compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons. File photo.
MP Morrison calls Keystone XL permit cancellation ‘devastating news’

Kootenay-Columbia MP reacts to the Conservative Party’s removal of a controversial Ontario MP

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Most Read