A close up photograph of a portion of the Biman Creek fire taken on Monday afternoon. The fire is located east of Duncan Lake on Mt. Simpson.

UPDATED: Lightning sparks 88 new wildfires in Southeast Fire Centre

While fire crews battle human-caused blaze near Rock Creek, lightning-caused fires continue to be detected.

Updated Aug 19, 11 a.m.- Summary of new fires in the Kootenay Lake zone in the last 24 hrs

There are at least eight new lightning-caused spot fires in the Kootenay Lake Zone discovered on Aug 18

• East of Lew Creek Ecological Reserve:.06 hectare South West of Trout Lake

• South of Sandon: .002 hectare

• Murphy Creek: 1.1 hectares on the East Shore of Kootenay Lake across from Shutty Bench

• Keystone Mtn: .01 hectare,  north of Salmo

There are four spot fires closer to the Trail and Fruitvale area as well.

UPDATED: The Paulson Pass fire is 260 hectares, and is not contained. As of Wednesday morning there are 30 firefighters, two helicopters and six pieces of heavy equipment working on the fire that closed Hwy 3 temporarily Tuesday night. Motorists are being advised to watch for falling rock and debris. For current driving conditions in B.C, including road closures and hazards, please visit: http://www.drivebc.ca.

Aug 18

While fire crews battle the 3,750 hectare blaze near Rock Creek, a total of 88 new wildfires have been spotted in the Southeast Fire Centre since Thursday. Fire information officer Fanny Bernard said 11 of these are in the Kootenay Lake zone.

The Mount Midgeley fire near Creston has grown from 30 to 333 hectares since it was discovered Friday and is 10 per cent contained. Forty BC Wildfire personnel, four helicopters and 10 pieces of heavy equipment are working on containment. Bernard said there is no immediate threat to any structures even though the fire is highly visible from Creston.

Closer to Nelson, an initial attack crew has been assigned to a two hectare fire near Six Mile Lake after a rappel crew built a helipad for access on Saturday.

The Next Creek fire near the Kootenay Pass is now in the patrol stage with 20 firefighters and two fire officers.

“We’re still counting on the public to call in any new forest fires,” Bernard said, adding there is still a campfire and burning ban which means no fireworks, tiki torches or burning barrels, among other types of burning.

She said the fire danger rating is high in the Nelson, Kaslo, and Lardeau areas and extreme in the Pend d’Oreille and Boundary. The fire risk is expected to rise through the end of the week.

On Saturday 46 new fires were discovered after Friday’s lightning storm, and 42 more have since been detected.

The Biman Creek fire on Mt. Simpson is visible from Glacier Creek Forest Service Road near the MacBeth Glacier trail head and can be seen from Jumbo Pass as well. The fire was reported on Saturday and the photo was taken on Monday. The fire is being monitored by the BC Wildfire Service. Tamara Hynd photo

The Kootenay Lake zone fires range in size from spot fires to 333 hectares. All were caused by lightning. Bernard said many fires that began Thursday have been extinguished or are in the patrol stage. A number of remote fires near the East Shore are classified as modified response, which means they are being left to burn due to their remote locations and are being monitored.

Bernard confirmed smoke and ash in the West Kootenay last week was due to the 12,000 hectare Stickpin fire burning in Colville National Forest in Washington state which is less than 10 km south of the Canadian border.

On Monday, BC Wildfire Service met with the Stickpin fire incident management team about offering firefighting support if required. For information about wildfires in the US, visit inciweb.nwcg.gov.

A smokey skies advisory issued Saturday by Interior Health and the Ministry of Environment for the Kootenay Boundary was rescinded Monday.

As of Friday, there had been 516 fires in the Southeast Fire Centre with 7,930 hectares burned, according to the BC Wildfire Service website. Provincially there have been 1,679 fires with 292,472 hectares burned.

Summary of new fires in the Kootenay Lake zone as of Aug. 18, 11 a.m.

• Crusader Creek: 0.04 hectare spot fire west of Kokanee Glacier Park

• Six Mile Lake: Two hectares (initial attack crew)

• Biman Creek: Four hectares (visible from Glacier Creek Forest Service Road)

• Next Creek: 6.5 hectares (Kootenay Pass, west of Kootenay Mountain, in patrol stage)

• Kianuko Creek: 21 hectares

• Mount Dickson: 50 hectares

• Mount Midgeley: 333 hectares (10 per cent contained)

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit bcwildfire.ca.

To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.

 

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