Emergency Info

This page will be updated with general emergency information updates and links that may be helpful. Below you will see updates - please note the date and time updates were posted as most recent will appear closer to the top.

Campfire Ban in Place for Entire East Kootenay

The entire East Kootenay is under a total Fire / Campfire Ban which will remain in place until further notice.  All rural areas of the RDEK are included in the ban.  In the municipalities (Cranbrook, Kimberley, Fernie, Sparwood, Elkford, Canal Flats, Invermere and Radium), there may be other municipal bylaws / regulations that apply, so you should check with your municipality.

Specifically, prohibited activities include:

  • campfires, as defined in the Wildfire Regulation: http://www.gov.bc.ca/wildfirelegislation
  • the burning of waste or other materials
  • stubble or grass fires of any size over any area
  • the use of fireworks, sky lanterns, tiki torches, chimineas, burning barrels or burning cages of any size or description
  • the use of binary exploding targets (e.g. for target practice)
  • the use of air curtain burners (forced air burning systems)

To report a fire: *5555 from a cell, or toll free 1-800-663-5555

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: http://www.bcwildfire.ca

Small lighning Caused Fire in Remote Area of Flathead / General Update (posted: July 20/17 12:55 PM)

A small lightning caused fire is burning in a remote area in the Flathead approximately 35km east of Elko. The fire is about 5 hectares in size and is being actioned by two initial attack crews and 1 helicopter.

Dry lightning is expected to continue across the region through the remainder of today and into tonight as the system moves through the region. While some areas have received small amounts of isolated rain, we have not received any widespread rainfall. Gusty winds will likely continue into tonight.

The smoky conditions are expected to return later tonight and into tomorrow as the winds shift from SW to NW -- bringing with them smoke from the Cariboo/Kamloops region. It could become quite smoky by tomorrow.

Smoky Skies Expected to Continue (posted: July 19/17 1:00 PM)

We could see some relief from the smoky skies tomorrow; however, the Smoky Skies Bulletin remains in place as smoky conditions are expected to return Friday as the winds shift again and carry in smoke from the Cariboo and Kamloops areas.

We are expecting a small system to move across the East Kootenay tomorrow with gusty winds, the possibility of dry lightning and possible isolated thundershowers.  No real rain accumulations are forecasted and the system will move out by Friday.  Through the weekend it is expected to be hot and dry.

There are NO FIRES OF NOTE in the SE Fire Centre.  Early reporting will be our biggest asset.  If you see a smoke plume of fire, please report it immediately *5555 from a cell phone or 1-800-663-5555.

Smoky Skies from BC Fires/ Small Fire in Picture Valley Well in Hand (posted: July 18/17 1:06 PM)

There was a small fire discovered yesterday east of the Picture Valley Forest Service Road (south of Fenwick Road / west of Wardner-Fort Steele Road). The fire is very small (0.3 hectares) and there are 2 initial attack crews and a water truck on it. They have it well in hand and it’s not threatening any farms, campgrounds, structures or communities. It’s very well in hand and will have it fully extinguished later today.

The smoky skies that we have across the East Kootenay are the result of a shift in winds, which have pushed the smoke from fires in other parts of BC, including the Cariboo and Kamloops into our region. The smoky conditions will be sticking around our area for at least a couple of days, possibly longer.

A great resource to see where the smoke is coming from is the Smoke Forecast website: http://firesmoke.ca/forecasts/BSC00WC04/current/

There are currently no wildfires of concern in our region (there are a few small fires in the Southeast District, but none threatening structures/communities or that are considered fires of note by the SE Fire Centre).

LET'S KEEP IT THAT WAY -- please be smart. Obey the fire bans and use common sense out there. And, if you see smoke, please report it. Our best chance of stopping a serious situation is if the Wildfire Service can get on any new starts quickly. To report a fire from a cellphone, call *5555

Nature Conservancy Canada - Closes Several East Kootenay Properties to Recreational Access Due to Fire Risk - Updated July 18/17

In response to the extreme fire situation in British Columbia, the Nature Conservancy of Canada is suspending public recreational access to all its lands in the province. This is a precautionary measure in order to minimize the chance of human-caused wildfires and to contribute to public safety.

In the East Kootenay, this impacts:

  • Mount Broadwood and Ancient Cottonwood Trail in Fernie
  • Kootenay River Ranch in Canal Flats
  • Lot 48, Marion Creek Benchlands and Dutch Creek Hoodoos Conservation area in Fairmont
  • Luxor Linkage in Edgewater

CLICK HERE to view the full release.

Please respect these closures and continue to be safe out there.

Air Quality Statement in Place for Entire East Kootenay  - Updated: July 11/17 1:02 PM

Environment Canada and the BC Ministry of Environment have issued a special air quality statement issued for:
   East Kootenay, B.C. (084500)
   Elk Valley, B.C. (084600)
   East Columbia, B.C. (085500)
   Yoho Park - Kootenay Park, B.C. (085600)

Current details:
Smoke is causing poor air quality and reducing visibility. Smoke is expected or occurring.  The Ministry of Environment, in collaboration with the Interior Health Authority, has issued a Smoky Skies Bulletin nfor Kinbasket, North Columbia, West Columbia, East Columbia, Yoho Park - Kootenay Park, East Kootenay, West Kootenay, Elk Valley, Kootenay Lake, Arrow Lakes - Slocan Lake, Boundary, the Cariboo, Chilcotin, North Thompson, South Thompson, Shuswap, Okanagan, Similkameen, Fraser Canyon and Nicola regions, because of forest fire smoke that is covering the area.

Smoke concentrations will vary widely as winds, fire behaviour and temperatures change.

Avoid strenuous outdoor activities. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, contact your health care provider: difficulty in breathing, chest pain or discomfort, and sudden onset of cough or irritation of airways. Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, and lung or heart disease.

2017 Fire Season Preparedness Links:

Being prepared BEFORE an emergency happens is critical.  Here are some great resources to help you and your family be aware of the stages of evacuation, some of the basics related to personal preparedness and more.

Helpful Links:

Local Wildfire Information
Road Closures / Conditions
Campfire Ban / Restrictions
BC Parks Closures / Info
Air Quality
Smoke Forecast
What To Do if You're Evacuated
2017 Preparedness Newsletter

Personal and Family Emergency Preparedness

CLICK HERE to view the 2017 Preparedness Newsletter

Each year, thousands of people face emergency situations that could change their lives forever. Don't be caught off-guard. Know the hazards in your area and take the time to assemble your family emergency kit. During an emergency, you and your family could be on your own for an extended period of time. Emergency services may not be readily available, as increasing demands are placed on responders. It may take emergency workers some time to get to you as they help those in most critical need. As well, access to phones, gas, water, sewer and electrical services may be cut off. Learning how to be personally prepared and building a 72 hour kit is vital.

Some items you should include in a 72 hour emergency kit include:

  • Food (non spoiling)
  • Water
  • A manual can opener
  • A crank or battery powered flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra cash
  • A copy of your emergency plan and contact information

For further information on getting prepared and building a 72 hour kit, visit http://www.getprepared.gc.ca


Understanding the levels of evacuation:

There are three key stages in the evacuation process:

  • Evacuations Alert: Local authorities issue a warning about an imminent threat to life and property and people in the defined area should be ready to leave on short notice.
  • Evacuation Order: When an evacuation order is issued by the local authority, people should leave the area immediately.
  • Evacuation Rescind: People under an evacuation order may return. An evacuation order or alert may be reinstated by the local authority if the threat returns.

Preparing for an Evacuation:

In emergency situations, residents in high risk areas should listen to the local media and follow the instructions of local emergency and transportation officials. Prepare ahead by organizing an emergency supply kit with necessary prescription medications, personal toiletries, a change of clothing, insurance papers and other important documents. If you are evacuated, local officials will provide you with information about the location of a reception centre. You are encouraged to register all family members at the reception centre so, emergency responders know that you are safe.

Last edited: Thu, July 20, 2017 - 11:56:27