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UPDATED: 'Evacuation alert' remains for residents in Slocan Park area

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
August 6th, 2014

Residents in the Slocan Valley need to be on alert for at least until Thursday as crews continue to battle the 120-hectare Slocan Park wildfire.

“The fire is moving away from the community and fire guards have been constructed to protect homes and infrastructure,” said Terry Swan, the RDCK’s regional fire chief.

The Southeast Fire Centre continues to have the Slocan Park wildfire on high priority with a very large attack crew on the ground and helicopters and tankers in the air.

The “evacuation alert” was issued by the Regional District of Central Kootenay late Sunday night.

The RDCK encourages Slocan Park residents to talk to their neighbours and check local media for updates.

The other fire of concern in the Slocan Valley is the Fennel Creek fire, located 8.5 kilometers east of Silverton.

The fire has grown to 100 hectares in size.

Slocan Park fire grows to 120 hectares but moving away from valley bottom

Despite seeing the Slocan Park blaze grow to 120 hectares in size, the worst appears to be over for Valley residents said Southeast Fire Information Officer Jordan Turner.

“Basically, (Tuesday) we’re been putting a machine guard near the valley bottom and houses near the fire,” Turner explained.

“The fire really hasn’t moved back down the hill and the main fire is now heading in the northeast direction on the mountain ridge.”

The Slocan Park fire, caused by lightning Saturday and located 2.5 kilometers northeast of Highway 6 in the Slocan Valley, ballooned from few hectares Sunday to 100 hectares during the night, forcing the Regional District of Central Kootenay Emergency Centre to issue an evacuation alert Sunday night to residents in the 2826 to 3024 Highway 6 fire number area.

The alert remains in place but may be lifted as early as Wednesday morning.

“Ground crews constructed fire guards today to protect the community, as well as power lines and towers belonging to Telus and Fortis,” said Terry Swan, the RDCK’s regional fire chief.

Tuesday, officials had a ground crew of 30 firefighters as well as helicopters and four Air Tractor AT802 Amphib tankers from Conair.

Turner said now that the Slocan Park fire is burning away from the valley bottom, Southeast Fire officials would shift their focus to the Fennell Creek fire located 8.5 kilometers from Silverton.

“The priority after the Slocan Park fire is the Fennell Creek fire where we’re looking to put a guard containment,” he explained.

Turner said the forecast is for more hot and dry weather with lightning through the week, which could spark up any lightning strikes that could be smouldering in the soil.

Other starts in the Nelson area include fires in Duhamel Creek fire, Lemon Creek, a fire west of Harrop, Perry Ridge, Woodbury Creek and a fire near Kaslo.

For information on air quality, as well as smoke forecasts for Western Canada, visit the BC Air Quality website.

Anyone seeing a fire or an unattended campfire, call 1 800 663-5555 toll- free or *5555 on a cellphone.

Categories: General