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RDKB Update: Fire danger remains extreme across entire Kootenay Boundary

Boundary Sentinel
By Boundary Sentinel
August 20th, 2018

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Emergency Operations Centre continues to monitor the wildfire situation in the Boundary region,

RDKB staff said there are currently more than 151 fires burning within the Southeast Fire Centre with 80 addresses remaining on Evacuation Alert in the region, including three areas near the Santa Rosa, Toronto Creek and Lynch Creek fires. 

RDKB staff said there are no change to alerts at this time. (Updated information in Bold Print.)

  • Winds will increase from the north and east through Sunday night and into Monday, at times up to 40 kilometres per hour. Cooler temperatures will prevail over what has been forecast due to smoke.  Smoke will remain for days, now coming from all directions – fires in northern BC, fires west of RDKB, and Washington / California. Fire danger is still extreme across the entire Kootenay Boundary despite cooler temperatures.
  • ESS, Red Cross and local municipalities are on high alert across the RDKB, significant advanced planning is underway to ensure access to reception centres and group lodging sites is available if necessary. 
  • The RDKB Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) remains activated at Level 1 to support wildfire response in the RDKB.

Fires of Note

Horns Mountain Fire:

(Note: Washington Department of Natural Resources is calling this fire Horns Mountain, BC Wildfire Service is calling this fire the Santa Rosa fire. This a different fire from the original Santa Rosa fire that burned east of Christina Lake in July, 2018.):

  • This fire has crossed over into BC, burning along the Santa Rosa summit.
  • 975 ha, 20% containment.
  • The area of fire within BC is approximately 188 hectares (down due to better mapping).  This was expected by BCWS and they have contingency plans in place for this fire. 
  • Over 375 firefighters are working this fire in the US. 
  • Unified command between agencies is ensuring that BC and Washington crews are cooperating on control and containment lines. 
  • Fortis has technicians in the area helping to coordinate right of way crossings and to ensure assets are protected.
  • Burn off operations may be undertaken on this fire when appropriate. Aircraft have been challenged to engage this fire over the past few days due to heavy smoke, but the smoke keeps the fire intensity down as well.
  • Challenging terrain and heavy timber. 33 address in Big Sheep Creek and Santa Rosa on Evacuation Alert.  As a note, there are a number of smaller fires burning in the Sheep Creek area as well and all are being actioned.   
  • Daily updates for the Horns Mountain fire can be found at this US website:

Lynch Creek Fire:

  • This fire is located in the Granby River valley north of Grand Forks. 
  • 161 hectares in size, 0% contained but now classified as “being held.”
  • This fire is 100% guarded with machine guard and wet lines. Crews continue to mop up and patrol for hotspots.
  • 25 addresses on North Fork Road on are on evacuation alert. 
  • Lynch Creek Forest Service Road is closed to the general public. 
  • Structural assessments completed in that area for possible Structural Protection Unit deployment.
  • This fire is being supported by resources from Saskatchewan.

Toronto Creek Fire:

  • This fire is burning on the east side of the Granby River valley near kilometer 13 on Granby Road. 
  • 12 hectares, 80% contained, 100% guarded, and crews still adding to containment lines. 
  • Evacuation alerts are in place for 22 addresses on Granby and Volcanic Creek Roads. 
  • This fire started from a lightning strike on Saturday morning and grew quickly in dry grass, brush and timber.   
  • The BC Wildfire Service has heavy equipment creating a containment line around the fire and the fire is being bucketed by helicopters. 
  • Areas that are not contained are in ravines and difficult to access (BCWS using other tools to manage fire in these locations). 
  • Grand Forks Fire and Rescue is assisting with the monitoring of this fire and stands ready to deploy the RDKB structural protection unit should the need arise. 

Kettle River Fire:

  • This fire is burning south of Midway, BC in the US on the eastern flank of Granite Mountain. 
  • 21 ha, still classified as 50% contained, although containment lines now built around the entire perimeter of this fire. 
  • Washington DNR has committed resources on site – 110 personnel on site fighting this fire including assets from the National Guard.
  • Ferry County (US) has evacuation alerts in place.

Air Quality

Air quality readings in our region remain very poor due to wildfire smoke. On a scale of 1 to 10, the monitoring stations in our area are reading 10+. Those with compromised respiratory systems should stay indoors when possible and limit outdoor activity until the smoke clears. More information can be found here: 

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