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UPDATED: Crews continue to battle Slocan Park wildfire; evacuation alert remains

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
August 11th, 2014

Unit crews and air support continue to battle the Slocan Park wildfire located approximately two kilometers north of Highway 6 Southeast Fire Officials said Monday.

“Unit crews establish hose-lay on 3/4 of the west flank,” the Southeast Fire Officials said.

“They are continuing to work on the east and south flanks of the fire. Eight helipads have been established and a ninth is being constructed to provide better access to the fire.”

Sixty firefighters and eight helicopters continue to battle the estimated 120-hectare interface wildfire.

The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) Evacuation Alert for residents of Slocan Park and Crescent Valley remains in effect.

The area covers from 2826 on Highway 6 to 3024 on Highway 6.

A smoke advisory issued for the Castlegar, Nelson and surrounding areas issued by the Ministry of Environment in collaboration with Interior Health has been cancelled.

On Tuesday, (August 5), a campfire prohibition went into effect throughout the entire fire centre to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety.

For updated information on the Slocan Park Fire Evacuation Alert, please visit the Regional District of Central Kootenay.

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

Check out the website for latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories.

Slocan Park Wildfire — No news is good news

No real news is good news in regards to the Slocan Park wildfire said officials at the Southeast Fire Centre in Castlegar.

The fire remains at an estimated size of 120 hectares.

Helicopters and ground crews continue to battle the steep-mountain-side-located blaze.

However, the wildfire is zero percent contained and there is now a smoke advisory for the West Kootenay region.

“Unit crews are currently working to establish hose-line on the west, east and south flanks of the fire,” said the Southeast Fire Centre.

“Helipads have been established which have greatly increased access to this fire.”

A total of 60 firefighters — three 20-member crews — continue to battle the blaze along with eight helicopters, which are making life almost unbearable for the 40-plus homes on evacuation alert near Slocan Park issued by the Regional District of Central Kootenay emergency centre.

Helicopters continue to pull water from the Slocan River to cool down the fire.

Southeast Fire officials said overnight inversions at the fire may result in a thermal belt forming, which could cause active flames to be visible in the fire area.

A thermal belt — causing the increased smoke in the valley bottoms through the mornings — is a warm air layer trapped between two cooler layers of air and can affect local winds.

Officials said a night observer will be in place to monitor fire behaviour and report any concerns to the South East Fire Centre.

The fire was started by a lightning storm that ripped through the area Saturday (August 2). The fire grew to a few hectares Monday before ballooning to 100 hectares by Tuesday morning.

Along with the Slocan Park wildfire, Southeast Fire Centre is concerned with the Whitetail Brook fire eight kilometres east of Canal Flats.

The wildfire has grown a little over the weekend to estimated at 1,790 hectares but 50 percent contained.

There are currently 95 firefighters, 10 helicopters and 13 pieces of heavy equipment working on this fire.

Area Restriction Orders are in effect for areas surrounding the fire including:

  • The entire East Fork of the White River Forest Service Road from approximately the 46-km mark to Munroe Lake.
  • The Bull River Forest Service Road south to approximately the 95-km mark.
  • The entire crown land portion of the Crossing Creek Trail east to Round Prairie.

On Tuesday, (August 5), a campfire prohibition went into effect throughout the entire fire centre to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety.

For updated information on the Slocan Park Fire Evacuation Alert, please visit the Regional District of Central Kootenay.

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

Check out the website for latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories.

Categories: General