Remote wildfires continue to burn

No communities or structures threatened as wildfires burn in backcountry areas.

The White River wildfire. Photo by BC Wildfire Service.

The White River wildfire. Photo by BC Wildfire Service.

The East Kootenay region continues to be affected by wildfires, however, none are threatening any structures or communities, according to the Southeast Fire Centre.

The Island Pond fire up near Canal Flats is currently in mop up and is no longer considered a fire of note after burning up to 1,200 hectares over the last few weeks and triggering an evacuation alert, which has since been rescinded.

However, there are 40 active fires currently burning in the region, including a 1,214-hectare blaze in a remote area up the White River are that’s currently being closely monitored.

Road closures also apply to the area, including the White River Forest Service Road starting at the 32-kilometre mark, the White-Schoefield Forest Service Road starting at the 78-kilometre mark and the White-East Fork Forest Service Road starting at the 60-km mark.

Nearby, the Grave Creek fire is also burning in a remote area that has consumed 2,013 hectares and is being tackled by 25 personnel, four pieces of heavy equipment and two helicopters.

Elsewhere in the East Kootenay, a small 30-hectare fire caused by a suspected lightning strike is burning up in the White Creek area northwest of Kimberley, which is being monitored by the Southeast Fire Centre.

Also burning remotely is a 70-hectare fire up Quinn Creek just outside Top of the World provincial park that was also caused by a suspected lightning strike.

Though no major fires are burning near Cranbrook, the area remains in a high to extreme fire danger rating. A ban on off-highway vehicles still applies, as does burning prohibitions of any kind.

Compared to the five-year trend, the numbers paint an interesting picture.

“The five year average for this time of year is 302 fires and 6,761 hectares [burned], so we’re actually below in the number of fires but ahead in the numbers of hectares [burned], which is the five-year average,” said Karlie Shaughnessy, a Fire Information Officer with the Southeast Fire Centre.