Lightning storm strikes up wildfires in West Kootenay
Following a rather slow fire scene in the Southeast Fire Centre, BC Wildfire Service is being tested after a lightning storm rolled through the West Kootenay earlier this week.
Almost 20 new wildfires have been reported, including the Koch Creek fire which is 10 kilometers west of Winlaw.
The Nelson Daily has learned there are two helicopters as well as an initial attack crew on this fire.
Other wildfires include three new Sanca Creek — south of Sanca, on Twin Bays Forest Service Road and another in Twin Bays Area — one near Gray Creek; three near Salmo — east of the Salmo Golf Course, Quartz Creek, Keystone Mountain and Slocan, Crusader Creek.
There is also a fire burning near Coffee Creek, three near Trail and one near Castlegar.
Since April 1, the BC Wildfire Service has responded to 174 wildfires in the Southeast Fire Centre, 51 of which were human-caused.
The fire danger rating in most of the Southeast Fire Centre is currently “high”, with some areas rated “extreme” in the Cranbrook, Arrow and Kootenay Lake fire zones.
The Southeast Fire Centre extends from the U.S. border in the south to the Mica Dam in the north and from the Okanagan Highlands and Monashee Mountains in the west to the B.C.-Alberta border in the east. This includes the Selkirk and Rocky Mountain natural resource districts.
For information on air quality (including smoke forecasts for Western Canada), visit the BC Air Quality website: www.bcairquality.ca/bluesky/west/index.html
To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call *5555 on a cellphone or 1 800 663-5555 toll-free. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: www.bcwildfire.ca