The call of an interface fire just outside of Trail came into Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue just before 4 p.m. Sunday. Helitankers, a helicopter used in firefighting, especially against forest fires, was critical in assisting firefighting efforts. (Photo submitted)

Helitankers used to douse Trail wildfire

Regional firefighters from Warfield, Trail, Montrose and Genelle stayed on scene until 9:30 p.m.

A brush fire just off Casino Road knocked out power to thousands Sunday afternoon while Trail firefighters, a service crew and helicopters joined in to battle the blaze.

The 9-1-1 call of a fire at the end of Spance Road, approximately five kilometres south of downtown Trail, came into Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue shortly before 4 p.m.

A 21-man crew from Trail, Warfield, Genelle and Montrose responded within 20 minutes and was assisted by two helicopters from BCWS (BC Wildfire Service) as well as an initial attack crew.

Air support stayed on scene until about 6:30 p.m., with Fire Chief Dan Derby reporting the incident under control a few hours later.

The area was machine-guarded overnight and will remain under fire watch for the next few days.

No homes were threatened though the fire is listed as interface.

Cause is under investigation by regional fire rescue.

Just after 5 p.m. FortisBC cut electricity to approximately 2,500 customers in the Trail area due to the fire.

Power was restored after 7 p.m.

The incident served as a good reminder on how to prepare for outages.

FortisBC advises families to make an emergency plan that include utility contact numbers and share it with everyone in your household.

The company suggests that an emergency kit be prepared with enough supplies for at least 72 hours and that it be stored in a location easily found in the dark.

Electronics, such as TVs, cable boxes, PVRs and computers should be protected with surge-protecting power bars and keep phones charged to conserve cell phone batteries when a storm is in the forecast.

For more information on preparing for outages click here: Power outages

Regional fire summary

Over the weekend, the Southeast Fire Centre (SEFC) reported several new fires were started as a result of recent and ongoing lightning activity.

As of Monday, the fires were not affecting any communities or structures and were being addressed in “priority sequence.”

Nearest the immediate area is the Santa Rosa Creek fire, located approximately 14 kilometres (km) south west of Rossland and about one km north of the Canada-U.S. border.

Ground crews and heavy equipment were being assisted by aviation support from skimmers filling on Christina Lake.

The fire is reported to be 32-hectares.

Whitetail Creek is another fire of note, located just outside of Kootenay National Park approximately 40-km south of Radium Hot Springs. As a precaution, Parks Canada has closed nearby areas including the Luxor Pass trail, as well as the West Kootenay and Dolly Varden trails.

The fire, said to be 123-hectares, may be visible for eastbound travellers on Highway 93.

The centre is reporting “good progress” on the Hobo Creek fire, located 35-kilometres southeast of Golden.

The wildfire is approximately 90-hectares and reported to be held, meaning “sufficient suppression action has been taken and the fire is not likely to spread beyond exiting or predetermined boundaries under the prevailing and forecasted conditions.”

The fire danger rating in the Southeast Fire Centre is currently predominately ‘high’ with sections of ‘extreme’ and small pockets of ‘moderate’. A link to the fire danger rating can be found here: gov.bc.ca/wildfiredanger.

The BC Wildfire Service is reminding the public that a campfire prohibition is in effect for the entire Southeast Fire Centre. With new fire starts anticipated as a result of the high fire danger rating, combined with lightning and seasonal temperatures in the forecast, it is crucial to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires, so the BC Wildfire Service can deal with any naturally occurring fires.

Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free, or *5555 on a cellphone.

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: http://www.bcwildfire.ca.

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