This image taken Tuesday afternoon during a reconnaissance flight provides an overview of the Slocan Park fire including the controlled burn on the lower side of the fire and shows an helicopter (white dot) working on the south flank.

Slocan Park fire 20% contained

Fire officials say a wildfire on a ridge above Slocan Park is now 20 per cent contained as crews plan to continue controlled burns today.

Fire officials say a wildfire on a ridge above Slocan Park is now 20 per cent contained as crews plan to continue controlled burns today.

Information officer Julie Castonguay said crews completed about half of their burns yesterday, intended to help create a control line on the fire’s southern flank.

However, the activity has resulted in increased visibility of smoke and flames. The burns are expected to be completed today.

Castonguay said Tuesday’s cooler weather “definitely helped.”

The south flank’s hose line is now completed, while it is 90 per cent established on the east flank and 80 per cent on the west flank.

The fire is now officially measured at 90 hectares — smaller than the 120 hectares originally estimated. Ninety-one firefighters are working on the blaze, along with 17 support staff and nine helicopters.

Nine helipads are helping crews gain access to the fire.

An evacuation alert issued a week ago Tuesday remains in effect for 47 homes.

Castonguay also asked tubers to be careful, as helicopters are using the Slocan River as a water source.

“There have been no incidents, but sometimes locals didn’t know it was happening,” she said. “People should be looking up. The water is noisy, and they may not hear the helicopters. We’re not saying don’t tube, but be cautious.”

She said special attention should be paid at deeper areas.

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