The fire on Perry Ridge near Winlaw grew to 35 hectares Thursday evening but has been held at that size since.

Wildfire near Winlaw grew as crews continue attack

The fire on Perry Ridge about 4.5 kilometres west of Winlaw grew to 35 hectares by Thursday evening.

The fire on Perry Ridge about 4.5 kilometres west of Winlaw grew to 35 hectares by Thursday evening.

The fire was discovered Wednesday afternoon and as of Thursday morning was four hectares in size.

Southeast Fire Centre information officer Jordan Turner said the fire is currently being held at 35 hectares and there is no danger to people or structures.

“The fire is still in a very remote area far away from any houses, people, roads, anything like that,” he said.

Along with six helicopters on the job, 40 personnel are fighting the fire.

“We’ve built helipads for fire fighters to be flown in,” Turner said. “They’re starting to build a guard around the fire and today they’ll be laying hose and trying to get this fire contained.”

Robyn Gold lives on the Slocan River has been watching smoke rising from the other side of the Perry Ridge.

“Yesterday, the fire was a bit scary, because we could see it was spreading north along the ridge,” she said. “However we are a long distance from the fire and have a river between us and the fire.”

Gold has been watching the crews attack the fire by air with helicopters “flying right past our house for the last two days.”

“The choppers run continuously, dropping water on the fire, sometimes they fill up at the river, other choppers appear to be filling from Slocan Lake or some distance north of Winlaw.”

Winlaw resident Frank Kalmakoff told 103.5 the Bridge that smoke from the fire seems to be travelling north in the south winds. Because the fire is so high on the ridge, it’s not thick in the air bothering folks.

“It’s dissipating up in the blues there, up in the sky,” he said. “It looks like a mushroom cloud but it’s slowly going north.”

Currently, there are five other lightning-caused wildfires burning in the Southeast Fire Centre. All of these are less than one hectare in size. One is right near the larger Perry Ridge fire. There are six members on the ground and one helicopter working on that spotfire.

With the fire danger rising during these hot and dry summer days, campfire incidents are causing concern for officials who say there’s been “a surge in the number of abandoned or unattended campfires.”

Fire wardens have responded to 29 campfire incidents since July 18 with most occurring over last weekend.

“Every person-caused fire is preventable. These incidents tie-up valuable resources and may delay our crews from responding to a naturally occurring wildfire,” said Turner.

Leaving a campfire unattended can result in a $345 fine. If that campfire causes a wildfire, those responsible may also be held liable for suppression costs and damages.

To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call *5555 on by cell phone or 1-800-663-5555 toll-free.