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Rain helps firefighters bid to control local wildfires

This BC Wildfire Service photo taken from a plane shows smoke filling the sky from the Kokanee Creek fire.

Cooler, wetter weather has helped BC Wildfire Service crews get a bit of a handle on some of the local fires in the West Kootenay.

Approximately 15 kilometres north of Nelson, 10-15 mm of precipitation allowed firefighters to gain a bit of a reprieve with the Kokanee Creek wildfire.

“The weather has been extremely helpful in suppressing the fire with the recent rain,” the Regional District of Central Kootenay Emergency Operations Centre said in a media release Monday.

“BC Wildfire reports that air and ground crews continue with their attack.”

The Kokanee Creek wildfire is estimated at 70 hectares, but remains zero contained.

Twenty-one firefighters on the ground are being supported by one helicopters in an attempt to get a handle on the fire.

“At this time, the Evacuation Alerts for 135 residents remains in place as a precautionary measure with no new alerts to report,” the RDCK EOC said.

The wildfire started after a lightning strike Saturday afternoon, August 12.

MCCORMICK CREEK WILDFIRE

BC Wildfire reports that the McCormick Creek fire is 40 percent contained on the Salmo River/Pend D’Oreille side.

“Crews continue to work to suppress the fire,” the RDCK EOC said. “No structures have been lost.”

The wildfire is estimated at 337 hectares.

Highway 6, north and south, remains closed in both directions from BC and Washington border to

Junction with Highway 3 (10.4 km) due to the wildfire. Travelers heading to the USA are advised to detour via Highway 3 Salmo-Creston to the Porthill Border crossing near Creston or the Patterson/Waneta crossing in Rossland and Trail, respectively as the Nelway Border crossing is currently closed.

“All Evacuation Alerts and Orders remain in place with no new alerts to report,” the RDCK said.

HARROP CREEK WILDFIRE

Closer to Nelson, the Harrop Creek wildfire has remained estimated 2,136.0 hectares thanks to Sunday rain and suppression efforts.

“This fire has received between 10-15mm of precipitation in the past two days,” the BC Wildfire Service said. "Crews continue to build guard with the aid of heavy equipment and helicopters"

A contingent of 80 firefighters are on site battling the blaze along with four helicopters and four pieces of heavy equipment.

The Harrop Mainline and East Harrop Mainline Forest Service Road is closed to the public to aid in fire suppression efforts and to keep the public safe.

GALENA WILDFIRE

Near Galena Bay north of Nakusp, the Galena wildfire is now estimated at 250 hectares in size.

Eleven firefighters and one piece of heavy equipment are working on the west flank of this fire. Crews continue to put guard in and are working to widen existing guard in some areas.

This fire is highly visible to Highway 23 and, from the Galena Bay ferry landing and surrounding area.

Environment Canada forecast calls for tempertures in the high 20s for the upcoming week.

The Special Air Quality Statement for the West Kootenay region has been ended by Environment Canada.