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UPDATE: Lightning starts 7 small fires south of Nelson

The fires are currently no danger to the city
A skimmer plane flies by the Nelson Bridge before reloading water out of Kootenay Lake. Planes are fighting a fire southwest of Nelson. Photo: Tyler Harper

A fire southwest of Nelson that was ignited during a lightning storm Tuesday has grown in size but is being attacked by skimmer planes and on-scene firefighters.

The Rover Creek fire, which appears on the BC Wildfire Service map as 49 Creek, has increased from 3.6 hectares to an estimated 30 hectares as of Wednesday morning. The first is located in an area south of Bonnington.

Kim Wright, a spokesperson for the Southeast Fire Centre, said planes and a 21-person crew are working to contain the fire.

Wright said residents should stay clear of an area on Kootenay Lake just north of Nelson where the planes are reloading.

“In the interest of air crews and the public safety, we urge people to use common sense and keep their boats away from areas where air tankers and helicopters are operating,” said Wright.

Rover Creek is one of seven small fires that began Tuesday in the Nelson area, none of which are currently threatening any structures.

The other fires include a two-hectare fire at Avalanche Creek northeast of Ymir as well as 0.01-hectare fires at Selous, Apex, Norman and Gold creeks near Highway 6, as well as Qua Creek.

Wright said the Selous fire is currently being held, and that the small fires are being contained by one helicopter and a four-person crew.

Meanwhile, tankers and crew are on route to the 0.03-hectare Russell Creek fire west of Highway 6 between Winlaw and Krestova. Wright said a helicopter is also reviewing the 0.90-hectare Ottawa Hill fire just east of Slocan.

The Gamble Creek fire east of Salmo that began Aug. 12 has grown to 100 hectares. Wright said it is in steep terrain and being watched.

Wright said residents should be reminded that fire season is still underway and precautions should be taken. More information can be found at

Seven fires have begun after a lightning storm Tuesday near Nelson. Illustration: B.C. Wildfire Service
Seven fires have begun after a lightning storm Tuesday near Nelson. Illustration: B.C. Wildfire Service

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Tyler Harper

About the Author: Tyler Harper

I’m editor-reporter at the Nelson Star, where I’ve worked since 2015.
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