Chris Sapriken took this photo Monday of the Slocan Park fire

UPDATED: Incident management team arrives at Slocan Park fire

A provincial incident management team assumed command of efforts to extinguish a 120-hectare forest fire near Slocan Park.

Update for Friday, August 8:

The evacuation alert remains in effect for the Slocan Park area as issued by the Regional District of the Central Kootenay on Tuesday under the recommendation of the wildfire management branch.

The Slocan Park fire has seven helicopters actioning the fire using water buckets. Fire information officer Noelle Kekula said the construction of heli-pads is expected to be complete by Saturday which will allow fire crews access to the fire perimeter to begin construction of a hand guard.

One fire in the Woodbury drainage is located three kilometre’s east of the Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park boundary and has become too dangerous for firefighters to be on site due to the terrain said Southeast Fire Centre fire information officer Jordan Turner. The fire is a the top of the ridge and is holding in size at 13 hectares.

“We do have a plan in place if the fire were to move towards the Woodbury trail,” said Turner, “but at this point it is not close to the trail or the cabin.”

A second fire in the Woodbury drainage is close to being considered extinguished as crews are in the patrol stage.

Campfire and open fire bans remain in effect which includes fireworks. With thunderstorms forecasted this weekend, the wildfire branch is expecting high winds which can greatly effect fire behaviour.

To report a forest fire call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 from a cellular phone.

Thursday, August 7

Incident management team arrives at Slocan Park fire

An evacuation alert remained in effect Thursday for Slocan Park residents living beneath a 120-hectare forest fire, but officials said it now poses “significantly less” risk to them.

The fire, caused by lightning and discovered Saturday afternoon, took off Monday evening under gusty winds. It is not yet contained and continues to burn approximately two kilometres east of Highway 6.

A provincial incident management team with experience in dealing with fires close to communities has arrived and took over command of the fire.

The team has personnel for logistics, plans, air, weather, finance, operations, equipment, safety, fire behaviour and weather forecasting and an information officer.

As of this afternoon, fire control was limited to air action by six helicopters bucketing water. Meanwhile 60 firefighters (three unit crews from the Coastal Fire Centre) were busy building helipads to gain access to the south fire perimeter.

Once access is available, ground crews will build a fire guard. According to information officer Noelle Kekula, no machine guard has been built but it remains a contingency plan if the fire’s direction changes towards Slocan Park residents. She said the fire seems to be burning northerly upslope to the ridge away from residential areas.

The fire has been burning at a rank three level, which is a moderate rate of spread with a vigorous surface fire. Fires are rated from rank one — which is a smouldering ground fire with no open flame with slow to minimal rate of spread — to rank six, which is violent fire behaviour with a rolling crown fire that even air tankers have little to no effect on.

An evacuation alert is still in effect for residents of Slocan Park and Crescent Valley as issued by the Regional District of Central Kootenay at the recommendation of the Southeast Fire Centre.

The area covers addresses from 2826 to 3024 on Highway 6, affecting 47 homes. The alert suggests residents have some belongings packed and be ready to leave at a moment’s notice. Those with livestock have been asked to move animals to a safe location.

Meanwhile, the Fennell Creek fire 8.5 km east of Silverton, which has reached approximately 100 hectares, is holding steady as it’s burning in a drainage against a rocky area. No crews are working on the fire because it’s still too dangerous for personal due to steep slopes and heavy winds.

Southeast Fire Centre information officer Jordan Turner added that safety has been a priority as rolling debris on the very steep slopes are not safe for ground crews.

Turner said helicopters are bucketing on priority sections of the fire. He emphasized the fire is in a very remote area causing no threat to the public. Fire behaviour specialists monitor the fire each day and continue to look for options as the fire has been burning at a rank three level, which is a vigorous surface fire.

Among helicopters working in the area, of note is the large Sky Crane which is commonly used in heli-logging.

The Southeast Fire Centre has more than 450 personal working in the region. There is heightened concern due to high winds and potential thunderstorms forecast this weekend. Due to the weather outlook and the high number of fire starts this past week, an additional 75 contract crews are on standby.

More than 60 new fires started last weekend, and 24 new starts were reported between Monday and today. The latter is twice what the Cariboo Fire Centre observed in the same time frame.

“It’s busier than we have been in the last few years,” said Turner.

Air tankers are working steady on a variety of fires in the region and are expected to continue, he said. Most fires are less than one hectare and have been actioned by three-person initial crews.

You can find an interactive map of all active wildfires of note in BC at

Just Posted

Nelson considers amnesty on parking fines

Drivers with backlogged fines would have until January to apply

EDITORIAL: Federal NDP challenges evident on Kootenay campaign trip

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh tours the Kootenays in support of local MPs, proportional representation

Columbia Basin Trust announces grant for technology upgrades

The deadline for organizations to apply is Dec. 17

Leafs fall to Braves, Twitter fight breaks out

Nelson gave up two goals in the third en route to a 4-2 loss

Cardiac arrest survivor saved by passerby

People who know CPR can now register with a new phone app to notify them of nearby emergencies

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

Kootenay music mentor crushed by stolen sax, sheet music

Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers or the Trail RCMP at 250.364.2566

Canucks’ 50/50 jackpot expected to surpass $1 million

The guaranteed prize for one lucky winner will be $500,000 minimum when Vancouver hosts LA Nov 27

The latest advent calendar trend: Holiday cannabis

A Canadian company is giving people from coast to coast a new way to celebrate the Christmas countdown.

Most Read