This is an image captured of the forest fire near Winlaw in its early stages. Photos of the fire can be sent to editor@nelsonstar.com

Forest fire near Winlaw gets help from wet weather

The forest fire on Perry Ridge 4.5 kilometres west of Winlaw is 20 per cent contained with weather providing a reprieve.

The forest fire on Perry Ridge 4.5 kilometres west of Winlaw is 20 per cent contained with weather providing a reprieve, said Karlie Shaughnessy, fire information officer with the Southeast Fire Centre.

“Through out the night and this morning the fire has seen a total of nine millimeters of rain,” she said Friday morning. “Any precipitation on the fire is very welcome… We don’t put fires out, Mother Nature does.”

While rains help with fire suppression, it also makes the steep slopes slippery and unsafe for the 79 firefighters on the ground. They’re battling the blaze along with 30 support staff and three helicopters with the fire a province priority.

“The crews are using hand tools today and establishing water sources. They’re starting to mop up certain flanks of the fire,” said Shaughnessy. “They’re working on building a fuel-free hand-guard area and when they have that established, they start to hose down the fire and mop it up or make sure that the parts that are out aren’t smoking.”

The fire originally started on July 24 and now, with the smoke somewhat cleared, officials were able to get a more accurate measure of its size which is 64.5 hectares. Early this week, estimations had it as 97 hectares.

“They are making progress,” Shaughnessy said.

Along with the unsettled weather that helps forest fire fighting comes lightning which can cause new starts.

“It all depends on how much precipitation is seen with the thunder showers. In some instances the lightening can occur without any precipitation and that can start forest fires,” said the information officer.

Since yesterday, throughout the whole Southeast Fire Centre, there were nine lightning caused fires. They all are considered spot fires at less than one hectare in size.

Cooler temperatures and rains have also reduced the fire danger rating from extreme to high or moderate. This puts off any campfire ban that was being considered. Bans exist in the Coastal Fire Centre as well as the Kamloops Fire Centre.

“We are fairly lucky,” said Shaughnessy.

This could all change as fire officials monitor weather daily as well as how careful people are with their campfires over the long weekend.

“We’re looking at how well the public is being compliant — if they’re leaving their fires unattended or if we have them escaping and causing wildfires, we take that into consideration,” she said. “Over the long weekend we’re advising people just to be really careful with their campfires. Even though we’ve seen a bit of precipitation, it doesn’t mean the danger has reduced significantly.”

Campfires are permitted at half a metre high and wide.

 

Just Posted

Bernie Brown campaigning to be Nelson’s mayor

Brown says affordable housing, mental health and food security are her priorities

COLUMN: A selection of local election reflections

Observations on West Kootenay/Boundary election races following Friday’s close of nominations

Cougar sightings increase in Nelson area

WildSafe BC’s Dave White offers advice on avoiding confrontations

UPDATED: Trafalgar student hit by car while walking to school

Nelson Police say charges are being considered

Expedia: Nelson is historic and hoppin’

The travel website put Nelson on two best-of lists for its history and beer

VIDEO: Lydia Kania is here to skunk you

The Vallican track athlete has turned to cribbage in her senior years

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Why Whistler for ski jumping in 2026? Calgary proposal gets pushback

Calgary 2026 proposes re-using the 2010 ski jumping venue Whistler for that sport and nordic

Despite progress, threat of 232 tariffs dominates NAFTA negotiations

Any deal is seen to require congressional approval before Dec. 1 to survive new Mexican government

VIDEO: Hundreds line highway as family brings home body of B.C. teen

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

B.C. MP Todd Doherty receives award for saving man who collapsed on a plane

Conservative MP was flying from Vancouver to Prince George, B.C., in June last year

Alleged border jumper from Oregon facing 2 charges after police chase in B.C.

Colin Patrick Wilson charged with dangerous operation of motor vehicle, flight from a peace officer

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in 22 per cent of B.C. cities

‘Hero’ kid fighting cancer helping with B.C. Children’s Hospital fundraiser

Penticton’s Wills Hodgkinson helping raise funds for B.C. Children’s Hospital

Most Read