Ward Creek fire contained, conditions still hazardous

Fire that grew to 110 hectares is now in the mop-up stage.

An aerial photo of the Ward Creek fire.

An aerial photo of the Ward Creek fire.

The Ward Creek fire has been 100 per cent contained and is in mop-up stage following action from an 44-man Ontario crew and heavy equipment last week.

Located 30 kilometres west of Newgate and just north of the Canada/U.S. border, the fire was discovered last week and burned 110 hectares.

The cause is under investigation.

The area around Ward Creek is considered extremely dry and hasn’t received a lot of rain, according to Fire Information Officer Fanny Bernard.

Since last Thursday, there have been 17 fire starts across the Southeast Fire Centre, according to Bernard.

One spot fire was located in the Plumbob Mountain area, while another one was out in Red Canyon west of Lake Koocanusa. Both were lightning caused and less than a hectare in size.

“None of those are of any concerns to structures or communities, so they’re just little spot fires that are just being dealt with,” Bernard said. “This rain has been really good, although it’s been patchy.”

She notes that even if there’s a little rain, it won’t have a big impact on hazardous fire conditions.

“Anywhere where there’s been 5-10 millimetres of rain, which is kind of what many areas have had in the Southeast Fire Centre, the fire indices will bounce back quick with this warming trend that’s coming,” Bernard said.

To date, there have already been over 1,342 fires across the province this year, but Bernard says that right about now is when the season traditionally starts.

“Date-wise, we’re just coming into fire season and we’ve just had a phenomenal amount of fires, so we still have quite a bit of summer to go,” she said.

All campfire and open fire bans remain in effect.

“Fire bans are still very much in effect and it’s going to be in effect until the public is notified and there’s no plans to lift it in the foreseeable future.

This hasn’t been very much rain. It seems like a lot of rain because it’s been so dry here in the region for so long,” Bernard said.

To report a wildfire, call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 from a cellular phone.