BC Wildfire Service crews and personnel continue to battle the South Teepee fire south of Cranbrook. BC Wildfire Service photo.

Wildfire danger rating rises in the Kootenays

Southeast Fire Centre official blames dry conditions, warmer temperature for danger increases

There are five active wildfires burning across the Southeast Fire Centre, however, most are classified as under control or being held, according to the latest data from the B.C. Wildfire Service.

The South Teepee wildfire — the largest fire currently in the region south of Cranbrook — is currently mapped at 35 hectares and is being held by firefighting personnel.

It is suspected to be lightning caused after a thunderstorm passed through the region a few weeks ago.

‘Being held’ means that personnel are confident enough that it won’t escape containment lines based on current conditions barring an unpredictable event such as a windstorm.

READ: Province to ban Category 2 fires in Kootenay region

Other fire events include the Jansen Creek blaze off Kootenay Lake, just north of Creston. Estimated at 5.3 hectares in size, it is under control and is also suspected to be caused by lightning.

A suspected lightning-caused spot fire south of Salmo less than a hectare in size is under control, while a small fire also less than a hectare in size north of Grand Forks is being held.

A new fire was also discovered at Chaperone Mountain north of Golden was also discovered on Tuesday that is estimated at less than a hectare in size.

Ashley Davidoff, a fire information officer for the Southeast Fire Centre, said that there are pockets of high to extreme fire danger ratings across the region.

“With the warming and drier conditions, we are expecting that fire risk to increase,” she said.

A Category 2 open burning ban remains in place, but campfires less than half a metre wide by half a metre tall are still allowed.

Fireworks, sky laterns and target shooting that uses explosive material are also covered by the Category 2 prohibition.



trevor.crawley@cranbrooktownsman.com

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