As of the morning of Aug. 18, there were 13 wildfires burning in the West Kootenay.
The three most significant are near the communities of Kaslo, Slocan, and Ymir, according to an Aug. 17 news release from B.C. Wildfire Service (BCWS).
The Briggs Creek wildfire, located approximately 11.5 km west of Kaslo, was discovered Aug. 1 and is estimated to be 1,730 hectares in size. When first discovered, most of this fire was burning in steep and mountainous terrain that was unsafe for crews and aviation resources to work on directly.
“This fire has since slowly backed downslope to established containment lines and is coming to an area of defendable ground where crews can start using direct attack strategies to suppress it,” the news release states.
On Aug. 17 there were 45 firefighters at the fire.
“This fire is visible to the town of Kaslo and surrounding areas,” states the BCWS website. “In the evening hours the fire will become more noticeable as it slowly backs down the slope. It will continue to appear closer than it is due to the glowing nature of fire at night and steepness of the terrain.”
The site describes the fire as “a smouldering ground fire with pockets of low vigour surface fire.”
BCWS is categorizing this fire as a Wildfire of Note, with daily updates available at https://bit.ly/3A9lG3M.
The Wren Creek wildfire is located approximately 6.5 kilometres northeast of the Ymir and is estimated to be two hectares in size.
“It is demonstrating moderately vigorous surface fire behaviour,” the news release states.
Air tankers were on site on Aug. 16 and successfully applied retardant to all sides of the fire. Eight personnel and one helicopter were on site Aug. 17, supported by heavy equipment to establish containment lines. The fire is not currently threatening structures.
The Mulvey Creek wildfire is located approximately 4.5 km from the Village of Slocan in the southern end of Valhalla Park. The fire is estimated to be four hectares in size.
On Aug. 16, skimmers and air tankers worked together on the fire to minimize fire behaviour, allowing ground crews to arrive and begin work establishing containment lines. On Aug. 17 there were five helicopters and 12 personnel at the fire.
While smoke is highly visible from the Slocan and surrounding areas, this fire is not currently threatening structures or infrastructure.
To report a wildfire call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cell phone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air-quality advisories, visit: http://www.bcwildfire.ca.