The Slocan Park wildfire as it looked on August 6. Rain has since substantially squelched the blaze.

Rain douses Slocan Park wildfire

Heavy rain has helped end the threat posed by the Slocan Park wildfire, which is now contained.

The Slocan Park wildfire is now contained.

Heavy rain over the weekend helped end the threat posed by the fire, which now has approximately 10 firefighters on site working to ensure it doesn’t start up again.

“Right now it’s mostly under control,” said information officer Jordan Turner. “Our crews are looking for hot spots and seeing if they have to put any of those out. They’re making sure the fire stays contained,” he said.

Though there have been reports of heavy smoke and dense fog in the West Kootenay area, Turner said these are the result of much larger fires currently burning in Washington and northern BC.

“In the West Kootenay right now we don’t have any fires or any threats to structures of communities. For the time being at least we’re seeing a downturn in fire starts and in fire behaviour. This is a period where we can reset and send firefighters up north to Prince George and other places where urgent help is needed,” he said.

Last week the Regional District of Central Kootenay issued an evacuation alert for 47 homes, but it was lifted on Thursday. The Slocan Park wildfire ultimately burned approximately 90 hectares.

The fire danger rating has now dropped to moderate as a result of the rain, and no new fires have been reported.

The campfire ban imposed earlier this month was rescind on Friday.

Meanwhile, a fire in Fennel Creek east of Silverton is being allowed to burn itself out. Crews put in a control line and Turner said the fire has nowhere left to go.

Although it’s being patrolled to make sure it doesn’t become an issue, he said there is no further action expected from the fire, which was estimated at 100 hectares.

“We don’t want to make any predictions, because it’s still August so there’s potential to have a drying pattern if this weather turns,” said Turner, who said he’s cautiously optimistic that we’re nearing the end of the season.

“But there’s still potential for the fire season to start up again,” he said.

— with files from Greg Nesteroff and Tamara Hynd


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