Two wildfires suspected to be caused by downed power lines in the ʔaq’am Community lands has led to resident evacuations for all homes on Mission Rd and Mission Wasa Low Rd. Monday afternoon.
Affected residents are being asked to evacuate through the emergency access route the top part of the reserve, and exit via LD Ranch Road, according to the ʔaq’am Community office.
Evacuees are asked to register with the Health Centre at 7470 Mission Rd.
Meanwhile, an evacuation alert was issued for 23 properties in the Campsall Rd. area west of Fort Steele on Monday evening.
The BC Wildfire Service is working with RCMP, Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Services and the ʔaq’am Community for fire response, which quickly grew to over an estimated 300 hectares and is now designated a Wildfire of Note.
The BC Wildfire Service and the Cranbrook Fire Department are working alongside the ʔaq̓am Community – St. Mary's Indian Band and RCMP in response to the St. Mary’s River Wildfire (N11805) located on the Kootenay River IR no1. pic.twitter.com/5LlznhVmyC
— BC Wildfire Service (@BCGovFireInfo) July 17, 2023
Ground crews are being supported by helicopters and air tankers, however, strong winds are affecting air assets.
The BC Wildfire Service reports 28 firefighters are on scene, with four helicopters in support. Heavy equipment will operate through the night to support containment efforts.
Flights in and out of the Canadian Rockies International Airport were briefly suspended Monday afternoon. Anyone flying into or out of the airport is asked to contact their air carrier for updated information.