Skip to content

Regional news recap

A quick recap of the top news stories in Kimberley, Cranbrook, Creston and Fernie.

BC declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

The province declared a state of emergency on Wednesday morning, citing the more than 500 wildfires burning across B.C..

The wildfires have sparked 29 evacuation orders affecting more than 3,000 people, and 48 evacuation alerts affecting almost 19,000 people.

Including this year, there have been four total states of emergency issued due to wildfires: 1996, 2003, 2017 and 2018.

The fires show no signs of abating, the province noted, as the forecast calls for hot and dry weather, as well as lightning, for much of B.C.

Fire Update

An evacuation alert is in place for the entire City of Kimberley, while an evacuation order is also in place for 65 properties in the St. Mary Valley. These alerts will remain in place until further notice and a reception centre has been set up at Centennial Hall.

An evacuation alert also remains in place for the TaTa Creek area, with the Lost Dog Complex fire seeing some progress. A planned ignition was conducted on Wednesday and was successful. They were able to safely burn fuels from a containment line toward the fire to remove fuel and steer the fire inside predetermined boundaries.

Read More: Latest report from B.C. Wildfire Service

Read More: Fire forces closures and delays on Highway 3 at Kootenay Pass

The Leach Creek fire, located in the Corbin area, is being held which means it is unlikely to spread. The evacuation alert in the Corbin area was rescinded Wednesday morning.

Crews are also making progress on the Coal Creek fire, working on building containment lines on the south side. The fire remains at approximately 713 hectares, and it is not currently a threat to communities.

The sage creek fire remains at an estimated 1936 hectares, and crews are making progress and gaining some ground.

Read More: Elk Valley wildfires update

Louise Baxter found after 72 hour search

A Cranbrook woman who had been missing since Sunday, Aug 12, was located Wednesday night.

An extensive search was initiated when Louise Baxter, 52, failed to return from a short walk in Jumbo Pass. She had been on a hike with friends and had ventured out with her dog for a break. When she failed to return police were contacted.

Search and rescue was activated and 72 hours later Louise was located in good health. She was flown back to the Command Post and checked out by BC Ambulance. Her dog Maverick was with her the whole time and is also in good health.

Search teams from Columbia Valley, Cranbrook, Kimberley, Golden, Revelstoke, Sparwood, Kaslo and Nelson assisted with the search. At the height of the search there were three helicopters, four search dogs, a drone and over 35 trained SAR volunteers. Officers from Kimberley, Cranbrook and Columbia Valley RCMP detachments worked alongside the SAR team and provided support to the family through Victim Services.

Child, 4, attacked by cougar at Lower Morrissey Creek

A four-year-old child was taken to hospital on Sunday after being attacked by a cougar near Fernie.

The BC Conservation Officer Service said the child was attacked while the family was fishing at Lower Morrissey Creek around 1 p.m.

The parents were able to fight off the animal and rush the child to hospital, after which the child was released.

Conservation officers sent out dogs to locate the animal, but had not found it as of Monday afternoon.

The service said there is no imminent threat to public safety.

With files from the Fernie Free Press, Creston Valley Advance, and Cranbrook Townsman.

Corey Bullock

About the Author: Corey Bullock

Corey Bullock is a multimedia journalist and writer who grew up in Burlington, Ontario.
Read more