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Fire update/Local firefighters deployed to Elephant Hill blaze

Fire Chief Dan Derby Tweeted: Proud of our KBRFR FF deploying with a Engine & Tender this morning to assist with the ongoing wildfire crisis.

There have been eight new wildfires in the Southeast Fire Centre today, and four yesterday, according to Fire Information Officer Carlee Kachman.

“Most of them are in the Cranbrook area – none are near here (Castlegar/Trail),” Kachman added.

There are seven wildfires of note (meaning highly visible or posing a potential threat to public safety) in the Southeast Fire Centre, the closest being Harrop Creek, which was most recently estimated at 2,532 hectares (although there is no current size estimate due to heavy smoke and increased fire behaviour after strong winds last night).

“Right now, they’re doing contingency planning for the location of additional guard lines,” Kachman said, adding the blaze is in steep and difficult terrain. It is not an interface fire.

Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue has deployed six firefighters, an engine and a tender to Clinton for six days to provide structural protection with the Elephant Hill fire in the Kamloops Fire Centre, according to Fire Chief Dan Derby.

“We were called late yesterday afternoon, and we were anxious to help,” Derby said, adding they’ll be joined by Creston crews as well. “The six members were excited to have the opportunity to pitch in.

“Myself, I’m very proud of the members that are going, and very proud of the members that are staying here to guard the home front.”

This fire is an estimated 181,273 hectares and is 50 per cent contained, and 20 fire engines (each with four structural firefighters) and 10 water tenders (each with two structural personnel) have arrived or are schedule to arrive today from various municipalities around B.C. to assist.

Kachman said the forecast over the upcoming long weekend remains hot, dry and windy.

“So, not a great forecast,” she said, adding fire bans and restrictions for back-country travel remain in effect.