Three forest fires are being monitored but not suppressed near Slocan Lake in the Valhalla Provincial Park.
“Due to the ecological benefits of fire and the remote location and steep terrain, the Wildfire Management Branch and BC Parks are monitoring the wildfires but not suppressing them,” says Southeast Fire Centre information officer Karlie Shaughnessy.
Two fires burn near Wee Sandy Creek with one 2.5 kilometres west of Slocan Lake at 10 hectares and one 8.5 kilometres west of Slocan Lake at two hectares. The third fire is 10.4 hectares and burns near Beatrice Creek at 3.3 kilometres west of Slocan Lake.
Smoke from these fires is visible from New Denver, Silverton and along Highway 6, says Shaughnessy.
The Wildfire Management Branch and BC Parks are monitoring the fires to protect trails, tenting areas and other values. Allowing them to burn in Valhalla Park is policy.
“Fire is a natural process in our environment. It is beneficial and helps maintain a healthy forest and a diversity of plant and animal life,” says the information officer.
The fire danger rating in the Southeast Fire Centre is currently moderate to high with a pocket of extreme near Grand Forks. As summer winds down, cooler temperatures and more rain should help ease fire danger but Shaughnessy says the Southeast Fire Centre isn’t out of the woods yet.
“I believe we are expecting a low to come in by the end of the week so that should bring some significant rain,” she says. “But it all depends on the rest of September and if we see warm dry weather through the rest of the month, there is the chance for forest fire season to be extended.”
As of September 3, 305 wildfires have burned 587 hectares in the fire centre area. Of those 263 were caused by lightning and the rest were caused by people.
Shaughnessy says the public was diligent with their campfires over the long weekend and assisted greatly in reporting wildfires. To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.