Despite a damp start to the summer, Nelson residents were reminded that the forest fire season has not been cancelled when helicopters brought a buzz to a sleepy Sunday afternoon.
The South East Fire Centre was alerted to a two hectare wildfire in the Five Mile Creek area south-east of Nelson.
“It’s in a watershed and that’s the value that is of most concern,” said Radha Fisher, information officer for the South East Fire Centre.
Five Mile Creek is the City of Nelson’s primary water source and is located in the West Arm Provincial Park. The current fire is located near the area of the massive Kututl fire that burned in 2003.
Fire crews were alerted to the blaze at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. Three helicopters and an air tanker were deployed. An initial attack crew was also on the scene on Sunday afternoon.
At this point Fisher said it is assumed the fire was started by lightning that rolled through the area last week.
“It’s kicking up a lot of smoke right now,” she said.
As the crow flies the location of the fire is about nine kilometres south-east of Nelson, but at this time poses no threat to the community.
Though it has been a slow start to the wildfire season, Fisher said with the spell of hot weather we have seen and the continued warm trend there will be more fires in the coming weeks.
“We’re definitely in the middle of August now with the conditions we have seen,” said Fisher. “What happens over the next few days will be weather dependent.”
Lightning is the main concern at this point.
Another small fire near Syringa also had crews busy on Sunday afternoon. Though the fire is less than a hectare in size, it is visible from the highway.
The fire danger for most of the region is rated as moderate to high with some patches of extreme.