Emergency Info

Link to Evacuation Orders/Alerts:

Current Information Updates:

August 14.18 - 10:00 AM - Evacuation ORDER Downgraded to ALERT - Corbin Area

The evacuation ORDER for the Corbin area has been downgraded to an evacuation ALERT for 10 properties in the community of Corbin and Teck’s Coal Mountain Mine property.

It is important for people within the alert area to remain prepared and follow updates on the Leach Creek Fire. In addition, anyone wishing to remove recreational vehicles from the area is encouraged to remove them now in the event that conditions worsen and an order needs to be re-issued.

A map of the alert area is available on the RDEK’s website and includes the portion of Corbin Road in Electoral Area A and the community of Corbin. The District of Sparwood has issued an evacuation alert in connection with the same fire. The District’s alert area covers the Coal Mountain Mine property and a small portion to the northeast. 

The Leach Creek fire remains estimated at 30 hectares in size and is burning in the vicinity of Corbin Road.

These latest orders are in addition to the following orders and alerts remain in place:

  • Cross River Fire Evacuation ORDER – affects 9 properties on Settlers Road / Cross River Forest Service Road
  • Lost Dog Complex (formerly Ta Ta Creek Fire) Evacuation ALERT – affects 121 properties in the Ta Ta Creek Area
  • Meachen Creek / St. Mary Lake Area – Evacuation ALERT – affects 65 rural properties in Electoral Area E in the St. Mary Valley.
  • Randal Creek Fire (near Yahk) Evacuation ALERT – affects 1 rural property in Electoral Area C

An information line has been set up at 250-426-2188 or toll free 1-855-346-2188 and, when not staffed, will have a recorded message with the most updated information.

For the latest status of wildfires, visit http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status


August 13.18 - 9:34 PM - Regional Recap

Meachen Creek - St. Mary Lake - (N11886)

  • The BC Wildfire Service has been actively monitoring this fire with flights twice daily as conditions allow. This fire has grown substantially in recent days due to it merging with the Mount Dickson fire to the south; however, there has been little growth on this fire over the past 24 hours due to subsiding winds and cooler temperatures.  Though this fire is highly visible, at this time, it is still burning remotely.
  • This fire is producing heavy smoke, making obtaining an accurate map of the fire perimeter a challenge from the air. They are hoping to complete an infrared scan to obtain an accurate perimeter map and help them continue to develop a strategy to achieve containment objectives.  This fire is burning in steep, rocky and unsafe terrain and as a result, ground resources are unable to respond at this time.
  • The evacuation ALERT for 65 addresses remains in place. 
  • There are numerous forest road restrictions in place. Visit:  http://bcfireinfo.for.gov.bc.ca for more info.

Lost Dog Complex Fire (N12413)

  • The evacuation ALERT remains in place for 121 address points in the Ta Ta Creek Area. The fire is a cluster of 4 fires with a total estimated size of 452.2 hectares and is burning approximately 7 km northwest of Ta Ta Lake.  Today they had 31 firefighters, 2 helicopters, and 6 pieces of heavy equipment on the fire today.
  • Leach Creek (N12565)
  • Located approximately 3km north of Mount Taylor and 21 km southeast of Sparwood.  This fire is estimated at 30 hectares in size.  Crews on site are working on containment and 4 firefighters were on the fire today
  • An evacuation ORDER is in effect for 10 properties in the community of Corbin and the Coal Mountain Mine property. 

Coal Creek FSR (N12395)

  • The Coal Creek Fire remains estimated at 713 hectares. This fire is not currently threatening communities.  They had 14 firefighters, 1 helicopter and 5 pieces of heavy equipment on site today.  The Coal Creek Forest Service Road is closed beginning at the 33 km mark. The Leach Creek Forest Service Road is restricted beginning at the junction of Leach Creek Forest Service Road. The Corbin Road, and Morrisey Creek Forest Service Road are restricted beginning at the 0.3 km on Morrisey Forest Service Road, from the junction with Morrisey Road.

Cross River Fire – (N21982)

  • The evacuation ORDER for 9 properties on Settlers Road and Cross River FSR remains in place. The fire is estimated at 2723 hectares and continues to burn in steep, difficult terrain.  Today they had 19 firefighters, 1 helicopter and 4 pieces of heavy equipment were on site. Crews continue to work on building guard.
  • The fire is located approximately 23 km northeast of the Village of Radium. 
  • The Cross River FSR is restricted beginning at the 10 km mark of the Ravenshead Palliser FSR, then continuing on to restrict the Cross River FSR, to the Cross Mitchell FSR junction. Kootenay River FSR is restricted beginning at the 40.25 km mark, to the junction of the Kootenay River and Palliser FSR and continuing along the Palliser FSR to the junction of the Palliser and the Cross River FSR (by Nipika Lodge) The Ravenshead FSR is restricted from the 44.75 km mark to the junction of the Ravenshead and Palliser FSR.

Sage Creek (N12024)

  • The fire is estimated at 1936 hectares.  102 firefighters, 11 helicopters, 3 pieces of heavy equipment, 2 airtankers and an Alberta Incident Management Team are on site.  It is producing a large column of smoke that is highly visible. It is located approximately 65km southeast of Fernie along the BC/AB border. A number of Forest Service Road restrictions remain in place – check the BC Wildfire website for details.
  • Whitetail Creek (N41525)
  • 40km north of Radium - estimated at 576 hectares, this fire is about 50% guarded and 20% contained. It does not pose a threat to Radium Hot Springs or other local communities at this time.  This fire does not currently pose a risk to visitors of Kootenay National Park; however, as a precautionary measure, area closures and smoke advisories have been put into place by Parks Canada.  Today 40 firefighters, 4 pieces of heavy equipment on site today. 
  • Forest Service Road restrictions are in place around this fire, please check the BC Wildfire website.

Larch Creek (N12515)

  • The Larch Creek fire is estimated at 478 hectares today. The other two smaller fires in the area are no longer listed on the map.

Randal Creek (N72436)

  • An evacuation ALERT for 1 address remains in place.  The Randal Creek fire (known in the US as the Davis Fire) is burning both sides of the Canada / US border approximately 17km southeast of Yahk.  Neither Yahk nor Kingsgate are included in the evacuation alert.  Campers and recreationalists are urged to follow local media reports and reliable information sources to stay informed on the status of the fire so that they are prepared should conditions worsen.  The fire is currently estimated at 905 hectares.  11 firefighters and 1 helicopter are on site.  

Wardle Creek Fire

  • The last update estimated the fire to be about 3600 hectares. 12 helicopters, 150 personnel and 9 pieces of heavy equipment are on site.  Highway 93S is currently open, check http://www.drivebc.ca or Alberta 511.ca before you travel for the latest information on road closures.

Akenside Creek Fire (N21714)

  • No significant change to report on this fire – which remains estimated at 450 hectares.

Weather / Air Quality: the weather is expected to get warmer over the next couple of days and will be warm and dry for several days (at least). The Smoky Skies bulletin remains in place and the smoke is here to stay for a bit yet.  If you’d like a silver lining to the smoke, it can help keep temperatures down a bit and it often means there is not much wind (which is a good thing!).

Power Outages: We’ve been hearing from a few people about power outages so thought the following information from BC Hydro might be helpful for everyone – you’ll never look at a reclose the same way again!! BC Hydro customers located in rural areas of the East Kootenay may experience an increased number of power outages while our region is in an elevated risk of wildfires. In order to minimize the possibility of igniting a fire, portions of the BC Hydro distribution system are currently being operated in a “no reclose mode ”.  This means the distribution system will not automatically be re-energized following a fault - for example a bird or a branch coming in contact with the equipment. During the “no reclose” operation each outage needs to be investigated prior to power being restored.


August 13.18 - 12:45 AM - Regional Recap

There are currently 2 evacuation ORDERS in effect in the RDEK:

  • Cross River Fire / Nipika Mountain Resort for 9 properties
  • Leach Creek Fire – for 10 properties in the community of Corbin and Coal Mountain mine property. Please note: there are no orders or alerts in place for the District of Sparwood.

There are also 3 evacuation ALERTS in effect:

  • For 121 addresses in the Ta Ta Creek Area for the Lost Dog Complex Fires
  • And one property near the Canada/US border southeast of Yahk for the Randal Creek Fire
  • For 65 addresses in Electoral Area E in the St. Mary Valley and St. Mary Lake area for the Meachen Creek Fire -Please note: there are NO alerts or orders for either Kimberley or Marysville at this time.

Meachen Creek - St. Mary Lake - (N11886)

  • The fire is burning at the north end of Kianuko Provincial Park approximately 25.5 km southwest of St. Mary Lake.  The fire is estimated at 1000 hectares.  This fire is producing heavy smoke and residents of Kimberley and surrounding communities have been experiencing ash fall. 
  • An evacuation ALERT for 65 addresses was issued Saturday evening and remains in place. 
  • The Meachen Creek Forest Service Road is now closed starting at the 16 kilometre mark at the junction of the Meachen Creek and White Boar forest service roads.  Visit http://bcfireinfo.for.gov.bc.ca for more info on this fire and maps of the road restrictions.
  • In addition, BC Parks has also issued a partial closure of Kianuko Provincial Park.   Visit their website for additional information at: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/kianuko/

Lost Dog Complex Fire (N12413) 

  • Evacuation ALERT remains in place for 121 address points in the Ta Ta Creek Area.
  • The fire is a cluster of 4 fires with a total estimated size of 452.2 hectares and is burning approximately 7 km northwest of Ta Ta Lake.  Today they had 31 firefighters, 3 helicopters, and 6 pieces of heavy equipment on the fire.

Leach Creek (N12565)

  • Located approximately 3km north of Mount Taylor and 21 km southeast of Sparwood.  This fire is estimated at 30 hectares in size.  4 firefighters and 1 helicopter are on site.
  • An evacuation ORDER is in effect for 10 properties in the community of Corbin and includes a portion of Corbin Road.  The District of Sparwood has issued an evacuation ORDER that covers the portion of Corbin Road within the municipal boundaries and the Coal Mountain Mine property. 

Randal Creek (N72436) – formerly known as Copper Mountain Fire

  • An evacuation ALERT for 1 address has been issued today.  The Randal Creek Fire (known in the US as the Davis Fire) is burning on both sides of the border approximately 17km southeast of Yahk and is currently estimated at 865 hectares on the Canadian side.  Ground crews were on site on the Canadian side today.  Although the alert only includes one residential property, the area is well used by campers and recreationalists. It covers portions of the America Creek Forest Service Road, Yahk Meadow Creek Road, and Cold Creek Forest Service Road along with portions of Hawkins Creek, South Hawkins Creek and Freeman Creek. Campers and recreationalists are urged to follow local media reports and reliable information sources to stay informed about the status of the fire so that they are ready to leave should conditions worsen.  Neither Yahk nor Kingsgate are included in the evacuation alert at this time.  A map of the alert area is available here.

Coal Creek FSR (N12395)

  • The Coal Creek Fire approximately 12km east of Fernie is estimated at 713 hectares and is 0% contained. The wildfire has been displaying vigorous fire behaviour and is highly visible from Fernie and Alberta. This fire is not currently threatening communities.  Heavy equipment is working on building containment lines on the south side of this fire.  1 helicopter was on site today.
  • The Coal Creek Forest Service Road is closed beginning at the 33 km mark. The Leach Creek Forest Service Road is restricted beginning at the junction of Leach Creek Forest Service Road. The Corbin Road, and Morrisey Creek Forest Service Road are restricted beginning at the 0.3 km on Morrisey Forest Service Road, from the junction with Morrisey Road.

Bull River/Quinn Range (N12407)

  • There are two fires in the Bull River area.  The largest is estimated to be approximately 170 hectares and is near the 90km mark.  A second smaller fire is also burning near the 70km mark.

Larch Creek (N12515) – west of Newgate

  • The Larch Creek fire is estimated at 450 hectares with 2 other small fires located nearby in the Bloom Creek area.  All three are suspected to be caused by lightning.


Cross River Fire – (N21982)

  • Located approximately 9 km east of Highway 93 and about 23 km northeast of the Village of Radium.  Evacuation ORDER for 9 properties on Settlers Road and Cross River FSR remains in place. The fire is estimated at 2700 hectares.  The fire is burning in steep, difficult terrain and is being closely monitored.  Crews continue to build guard on the south flank.  Today 17 firefighters, 1 helicopter and 4 pieces of heavy equipment were on site.
  • The Cross River Forest Service Road is closed starting at the 16 kilometre mark running to the Cross Mitchell River Forest Service Road and the Cross River Forest Service Road. This road closure applies to all non-industrial road traffic.

Whitetail Creek (N41525)

  • 40km north of Radium - estimated at 282 hectares, this fire is about 50% guarded and 20% contained. It does not pose a threat to Radium Hot Springs or other local communities at this time.  This fire does not currently pose a risk to visitors of Kootenay National Park; however, as a precautionary measure, area closures and smoke advisories have been put into place by Parks Canada.  Today 42 firefighters, 2 helicopters and 4 pieces of heavy equipment were on site. 
  • Effective immediately, the Beaverfoot Forest Service Road is closed beyond the 47-kilometre mark (near the Symond Creek Bridge). No access is permitted on this section of road. This road will remain closed until the public is otherwise notified.

Sage Creek (N12024)

  • Burning 65km southeast of Fernie along the BC/AB border, the Sage Creek Fire continues to burn in remote terrain.  They had 108 firefighters, 8 helicopters, 3 pieces of heavy equipment and 2 airtankers on it today. Crews are working to reinforce the Flathead Sage Forest Service Road as a guard on the north end of the fire. The south side of the fire is burning upslope and connecting with the fuel break created from the Kenow Mountain wildfire from 2017.  An Alberta Incident Management Team is on site.  This fire is producing a large column of smoke that is highly visible.  Crews are planning for future burn off operations.  Expect to see additional smoke from this fire in the upcoming days.
  • Crews and equipment continued to build guard on the east and west sides of fire along perimeter. Bucketing and airtanker drops continued in priority areas. Heavy equipment will continue constructing dozer lines. Crews will provide support with pump and hose; sprinkler line to be set up on east flank. Aerial suppression will continue to limit further spread along the north perimeter.
  • The Flathead Sage Creek Forest Service Road is closed starting at the 81 kilometre mark at the junction of Flathead Kishinena Forest Service Road and the Flathead Sage Forest Service Road. No access is permitted on this section of road. This road will remain closed until the public is otherwise notified. 

Wardle Creek Fire

  • The last update estimated the fire to be about 2800 hectares. They had 12 helicopters, 157 personnel and 8 pieces of heavy equipment on it. Highway 93S is open.  Check http://www.drivebc.ca or Alberta 511.ca before you travel for the latest information on road closures.

Akenside Creek Fire (N21714)

  • Located approximately 18km west of Edgewater.  This is a modified response fire and it is currently estimated at 450 hectares.

August 12.18 - 12:50 AM - Regional Recap

Turning to the Fire Front (info from the BC Wildfire Service):


• Meachen Creek - St. Mary Lake - (N11886) - if you've been trying to find this fire on the map, it should be a little easier now as it has been listed as a Fire of Note.  You will find it on the map west of the St. Mary Lake area - at the north end of Kianuko Provincial Park. This fire is producing heavy smoke and residents of Kimberley and surrounding communities have been experiencing ash fall.  An evacuation ALERT was issued Saturday evening and remains in place.

The Meachen Creek Forest Service Road is now closed starting at the 16 kilometre mark at the junction of the Meachen Creek and White Boar forest service roads.  In addition, BC Parks has also issued a partial closure of Kianuko Provincial Park. Visit their website for additional information at: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/kianuko/

• Lost Dog Complex Fire (N12413) - Evacuation ALERT remains in place for 121 address points in Ta Ta Creek Area. There is no significant change to report from the last update. It remains estimated at 165.5 hectares (combined size of the four fires) and is burning approx. 7km northwest of Ta Ta Lake.  Today they had 26 firefighters, 2 helicopters, and 6 pieces of heavy equipment on the fire. They will continue to action the fire again Sunday.

• Sage Creek N12024 - burning 65km southeast of Fernie along the BC/AB border, the Sage Creek Fire continues to burn in remote terrain.  They had 102 firefighters, 8 helicopters, 3 pieces of heavy equipment and 2 airtankers on it today. Crews are working to reinforce the Flathead Sage Forest Service Road as a guard on the north end of the fire. The south side of the fire is burning upslope and connecting with the fuel break created from the Kenow Mountain wildfire from 2017. Crews and equipment continued to build guard on the east and west sides of fire along perimeter. Bucketing and airtanker drops continued in priority areas.Heavy equipment will continue constructing dozer lines. Crews will provide support with pump and hose; sprinkler line to be set up on east flank. Aerial suppression will continue to limit further spread along the north perimeter.

The Flathead Sage Creek Forest Service Road is closed starting at the 81 kilometre mark at the junction of Flathead Kishinena Forest Service Road and the Flathead Sage Forest Service Road. No access is permitted on this section of road. This road will remain closed until the public is otherwise notified. For a detailed map please see the file below in our 'Map & Photo' section.

• Coal Creek FSR (N12395) - the Coal Creek Fire approximately 12km east of Fernie is estimated at 528 hectares and is 0% contained. The wildfire has been displaying vigorous fire behaviour and is highly visible from Fernie and Alberta. This fire is not currently threatening communities.  They had 5 pieces of heavy equipment working on building containment lines and 1 helicopter on it today.

The Coal Creek Forest Service Road is closed beginning at the 33 km mark. The Leach Creek Forest Service Road is restricted beginning at the junction of Leach Creek Forest Service Road. The Corbin Road, and Morrisey Creek Forest Service Road are restricted beginning at the 0.3 km on Morrisey Forest Service Road, from the junction with Morrisey Road.

• Bull River/Quinn Range: There are two fires up the Bull - N12407 is estimated to be approximately 170 ha and is near the 90km mark. A second smaller fire is also burning near the 70km mark

• Cross River Fire - Evacuation ORDER for 9 properties on Settlers Road and Cross River FSR remains in place. The fire is still estimated at 36.4ha  The fire is burning in steep, difficult terrain. The Cross River Forest Service Road is closed starting at the 16 kilometre mark running to the Cross Mitchell River Forest Service Road and the Cross River Forest Service Road. This road closure applies to all non-industrial road traffic.

• Whitetail creek N41525 - 40km north of Radium - estimated at 282 hectares, this fire is about  50% guarded and 35% contained. It does not pose a threat to  local communities at this time. Effective immediately, the Beaverfoot Forest Service Road is closed beyond the 47-kilometre mark (near the Symond Creek Bridge). No access is permitted on this section of road. This road will remain closed until the public is otherwise notified.

• West of Newgate / Bloom Creek - there are 2 new small fires on the map tonight (0.6ha each) along with a 200ha fire in nearby Larch Creek.  All three are suspected to be caused by lightning.

• One other new start is the Copper Mountain fire right on the Canada / US border approx 14 km southeast of Yahk - it is suspected to be lightning caused and is estimated at 421ha.

• Wardle Creek Fire - the last update estimated the fire to be about 2800 hectares. They had 12 helicopters, 145 personnel and 8 pieces of heavy equipment on it. Highway 93S has been closed again today (alternate travel route is through Golden) - they will be re-assessing it at 10am.  Check http://www.drivebc.ca before you travel for the latest.

• Akenside Creek Fire (approx. 18km west of Edgewater) -this is a modified response fire and it is currently estimated at 450ha.
From fires to power, there were a number of power outages today. BC Hydro crews worked hard to identify the cause (a few trees are to blame here!) and restore power as quickly as possible. There could be continued interruptions over the next few days given the weather conditions we've had.If you see a fire or burning violation, call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on a cellphone.  The campfire, fireworks and open burning bans remain in place.

NEXT UPDATE:  likely be around noon Sunday.  In the mornings, the BCWS gets out and does their assessment of the fires, works out their game plan / strategy and gets things going. Then they follow up with us.  If there is a significant change, we would know right away and we would pass it along to you. So, unless there is a significant change in the morning, you can expect the next update early afternoon.

August 11.18 - 9:15 PM - Evacuation Alert Issued - St. Mary Lake Area

NEWS RELEASE
Evacuation ALERT for St. Mary Valley as Meachen Creek Fire Grows

The RDEK has issued an evacuation ALERT for properties within the St. Mary Valley following significant growth on the Meachen Creek Fire.
A map of the alert area is available on the RDEK’s website. The alert area includes:

  • a portion of Electoral Area E from west of the City of Kimberley boundary to the Redding Creek / St. Mary’s River convergence including St. Mary Lake Road and Lakefront Road.

The City of Kimberley is NOT included in the alert area.

“Everyone in the East Kootenay can see how tinder dry it is out there and how quickly conditions can change. The goal of an evacuation alert is to give people time to prepare so they are ready to go in the event conditions worsen,” says Emergency Information Officer Loree Duczek. The evacuation alert affects approximately 65 address points.

The fire is estimated at 1000 hectares in size.

“The RDEK encourages people within the evacuation alert area to put together important papers (like insurance papers), medications, valuables, supplies for children and pets, and other important items so that should they be asked to evacuate, they are ready to go.

Members of the Kimberley RCMP Detachment and Search and Rescue are assisting with hand delivering the alert notices in the evacuation alert area tonight.

A map of the alert area is available HERE

“Again, this is an evacuation ALERT and now is the time to take steps to be prepared,” adds Duczek.

An information line has been set up at 250-426-2188 or toll free 1-855-346-2188 and, when not staffed, will have a recorded message with the most updated information.

For the latest status of wildfires, visit http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status

August 11.18. - 6:00 PM - QUICK UPDATES - Ta Ta Creek Area Fire, Coal Creek Fire

The fire in the Ta Ta Creek area has been renamed the Lost Dog Complex. It includes four fires with a combined area currently estimated at 165.5 hectares. They have 26 personnel, 2 helicopters and 6 pieces of heavy equipment on the fire today. The fire is in the Lost Dog area and is approximately 7km northwest of Ta Ta Lake. For up-to-date details: http://bcfireinfo.for.gov.bc.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/OneFire.asp?ID=751

A Thunderstorm Watch has been issued for the entire East Kootenay by Environment Canada and we are expecting it to be a windy day.

It's a very busy day for BCWS with this weather event, so I'm going to send you snippets as I get them and a longer email tonight once I have all the information. Here is the latest from the BCWS on the Coal Creek Fire - approx 12km east of the City of Fernie:

  • It is estimated at 528.0 hectares
  • It is 0% contained at this time
  • While it is visible from nearby communities, this fire is not currently threatening communities
  • The Coal Creek Forest Service Road is closed beginning at the 33 km mark. The Leach Creek Forest Service Road is restricted beginning at the junction of Leach Creek Forest Service Road. The Corbin Road, and Morrisey Creek Forest Service Road are restricted beginning at the 0.3 km on Morrisey Forest Service Road, from the junction with Morrisey Road.
  • It has been added as a Fire of Note - for the latest info on the BC Wildfire website, you can click here: http://bcfireinfo.for.gov.bc.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/OneFire.asp?ID=755
    • Resources
      • 1 helicopter
      • 5 heavy equipment - Heavy equipment is working on building containment lines on the south side of this fire.

More to come later this evening as we get additional information from the field.

The only other quick item of note is that Highway 93S remains closed at Vermillion Crossing at the time of this email; however will be reassessed again this afternoon so if you are planning to travel, please check http://www.drivebc.ca or www.alberta511.ca

For the most up to date information other fires in the region, please visit: www.bcwildfire.ca

August 11.18 - 12:20 AM

The evacuation alert affecting nine properties including Nipika Mountain Resort in the Cross River drainage north of Radium has been upgraded to an evacuation ORDER effective immediately. The Evacuation ORDER area includes seven properties on Settlers Road and two properties on Cross River Forest Service Road and the RDEK is in the process of advising the Resort and impacted property owners. An Emergency Support Services Reception Centre is being set up at the Village of Radium Office at 4836 Radium Blvd. Residents are asked to register at the Reception Centre.
Further south, the Regional District of East Kootenay has just issued an evacuation ALERT for the Ta Ta Creek area after a cluster of new fires broke out west of the community late Friday afternoon.

With the tinder dry conditions and a forecast this weekend calling for the possibility of strong and changing winds, we want residents within the evacuation alert area to be taking steps to be prepared to leave on a moment’s notice if conditions worsen,” says Emergency Information Officer Loree Duczek. The evacuation alert affects approximately 121 address points.

The fire is a cluster of three fires, which together are estimated to be approximately 200 hectares in size is being actioned by the BC Wildfire Service. The fires are not immediately threatening any structures or communities; however, the alert is being implemented to give residents time to prepare.  “In addition to making personal preparations, we recommend anyone with livestock or other animals make plans for their animals at the alert stage.  Should anyone in the alert area need assistance, they can contact the Emergency Information Line and we can connect them with resources.”

The RDEK encourages people within the evacuation alert area to put together important papers (like insurance papers), medications, valuables, supplies for children and pets, and other important items so that should they be asked to evacuate, they are ready to go.

Members of the Kimberley RCMP Detachment and Search and Rescue are assisting with hand delivering the alert notices in the evacuation alert area tonight. “We will be working from south of Farstad Way through Ta Ta Creek – and want to give residents the heads up to expect a knock on their door tonight,” says Duczek.

A map of the alert area is available HERE. The alert area includes:
• the area west of the Kootenay River from just south of Farstad Way to south of Hahas Lake Recreation Site (known by locals as Stony Lake) 
• Echoes Lake, McNair Lakes and Hahas Lakes

“We need to stress that at this time, we have only issued an alert and now is the time to take steps to be prepared,” adds Duczek.

The RDEK has declared a State a Local Emergency for Electoral Areas F and G.  This step is required anytime and evacuation order is issued.

There is another new fire in the Elk Valley approximately 12 km east of Fernie. The Coal Creek FSR Wildfire is estimated to be 160 hectares. This fire was discovered this afternoon and the cause is under investigation. This fire is highly visible from Fernie but is not currently threatening structures or communities at this time.

An information line has been set up at 250-426-2188 or toll free 1-855-346-2188 and, when not staffed, will have a recorded message with the most updated information.

For the latest status of wildfires, visit http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status

August 10.18 - 5:00 PM

This stifling hot weather is about to blow (literally) out this weekend as a cold front passes through the region, bringing with it moderate to strong winds tonight through Sunday along with some cooler temperatures (then again, after the 40 degrees in some places this week, anything less will feel cooler!). In spite of the wind, the smoky conditions are likely to continue for a few days yet.  There is a chance of isolated thunderstorm activity over the next couple of days -- with increased wind (very strong gusts) and the chance of lightning and showers around those convective cells.

On the fire front:

  • Wardle Creek Fire - Parks Canada has 13 helicopters, 9 pieces of heavy equipment and 139 personnel on the Wardle Creek Fire today. At the time of this email, Hwy 93S is open; however, it could be closed again with little to no notice based on smoke. They are recommending travel between 7:00am and 2:00pm. Check www.DriveBC.ca and www.alberta511.ca for alternate routes, up-to-date information.
  • Cross River Fire - according to the BCWS website, the fire is still estimated at 36.4 ha. They had 5 firefighters on the fire today, which is burning in steep and difficult terrain. Crews are building guard on the south flank with the aid of heavy equipment.  For the latest information and a link to the maps, visit: http://bcfireinfo.for.gov.bc.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/OneFire.asp?ID=736 . The Cross River Forest Service Road is closed starting at the 16 kilometre mark running to the Cross Mitchell River Forest Service Road and the Cross River Forest Service Road and the evacuation alert for 9 properties along Cross River FSR and Settlers Road remains in place.
  • Whitetail Creek Fire - Estimated at 50% guarded and 35% contained, this fire does not pose a threat to local communities at this time. As of 1:15PM, there were 51 firefighters, 3 helicopters and 4 pieces of heavy equipment. Crews are reinforcing machine guards and extinguishing hotspots to limit fire growth. Air resources continue to bucket hot spots. To view the most to-date information on this fire: http://bcfireinfo.for.gov.bc.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/OneFire.asp?ID=711
  • Bray Creek - there is a new pin on the BCWS interactive map for a very small fire in Bray Creek east of Fernie. I have no information on this one as it is new, but you can check the BCWS interactive map for info.
  • Sage Creek - in the Flathead near the BC/AB border - They had 76 firefighters, 7 helicopters, 3 pieces of heavy equipment and 2 air tankers on the fire (as of 9:01 AM this morning). The Flathead Sage Creek Forest Service Road remains closed starting at the 81 kilometre mark at the junction of Flathead Kishinena Forest Service Road and the Flathead Sage Forest Service Road. For the latest information on this fire, click here: http://bcfireinfo.for.gov.bc.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/OneFire.asp?ID=726

There are no other significant updates to share from the August 9th update.

With the weather forecast the next two to three days, we all need to remain vigilant and use extreme caution. If you see a fire or non-permitted fire use, please report it to 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on a cellphone.

The fireworks, open burning and campfire bans remain in place - a reminder that as of the time of this post, the ban does not apply to CSA-rated or ULC-rated cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or to a portable campfire apparatus that uses briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel, so long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres. So, portable propane fires are still permitted at this time; however, you should ALWAYS check this link to make sure things have not changed: http://bcfireinfo.for.gov.bc.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/DisplayBan.asp?ID=533#CampfireBans This applies to any other forest use / access restrictions as well which are also listed at that link.

August 9.18 - 4:19PM

FROM THE BC WILDFIRE SERVICE (Website & Info Bulletin)

Cross River Wildfire (approx. 23 kilometres northeast of the Village of Radium and about nine kilometres east of Highway 93).

  • This fire currently covers about 36 hectares and is being closely monitored by the BC Wildfire Service.
  • Effective immediately, the Cross River Forest Service Road is closed from the 16-kilometre mark, up to the junction with the Cross Mitchell Forest Service Road and the Cross River Forest Service Road. This road closure applies to all non-industrial road traffic. A detailed map of the road closure is available online: http://ow.ly/ir9l30lkeNM.   The BC Wildfire Service is implementing this road closure to minimize non-essential traffic and allow for more effective wildfire response. The public is advised to use extreme caution when travelling on forest service roads near closed roads, since there will be increased activity in these locations. Do not stop on the road or impede traffic in any way. This road will remain closed until the public is otherwise notified.
  • An evacuation ALERT was issued today by the RDEK for 9 properties in the vicinity of the fire (copies of the alert can be found by clicking here)
  • It is now listed as a Fire of Note on the BCWS website - and that is the best resource for updated information on this fire http://bcfireinfo.for.gov.bc.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/OneFire.asp?ID=736

Akenside Creek wildfire (approx 26 kilometres northwest of the Village of Radium and 19 kilometres west of Highway 95)

  • The Akenside Creek fire is not a wildfire of note, but smoke from this fire is highly visible in the area.
  • It is estimated to be about 134 hectares - burning in remote terrain and is not impacting communities or structures.
  • Yesterday, fire crews completed burn-off operations on this fire, which covered about 100 hectares, and helped contain this wildfire within predetermined boundaries.   As a result, additional smoke will continue to be visible from Highway 95, Radium and surrounding communities.

Sage Creek Wildfire (approx 65km southeast of Fernie along BC/AB border in the Flathead)

  • This fire is burning in remote terrain and is estimated at approx 1148 hectares. Resources on the fire include 69 firefighters, 8 helicopters, 3 heavy equipment, 1 airtankers
  • It is a fire of note on the BC Wildfire website, so you should click this link for the latest information/updates on this fire: http://bcfireinfo.for.gov.bc.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/OneFire.asp?ID=726
  • It has been producing a lot of smoke (that is quite visible from the AB side). Crews are planning for future burn off operations, so expect to see additional smoke from this fire in the coming days.
  • The Flathead Sage Creek Forest Service Road is closed starting at the 81 kilometre mark at the junction of Flathead Kishinena Forest Service Road and the Flathead Sage Forest Service Road. No access is permitted on this section of road. To view a map of the closure, click on the link above (second bullet) and see the maps/photos section

Bull River FSR (up Bull River Forest Service Road)

Whitetail Creek (approx 40km northeast of Radium)

  • As of 8:43am today, BCWS is reporting the fire is 50% guarded, 40% contained. There were 63 firefighters, 3 helicopters, 4 pieces of heavy equipment on this fire today. Crews are continuing to build guard and working on extinguishing hotspots to limit growth. This fire does not currently pose a risk to visitors of Kootenay National Park; however, as a precautionary measure, area closures and smoke advisories have been put into place by Parks Canada. Visit https://www.pc.gc.ca/apps/scond/Rec_Rep_E.asp?opark=100253 for more information.  The Beaverfoot Forest Service Road is closed beyond the 47-kilometre mark (near the Symond Creek Bridge). No access is permitted on this section of road and it will remain closed until further notice.

Other Items of Note from the BCWS:

  • The Fire Danger Rating in the Southeast Fire Centre is predominantly "high", with some pockets of "extreme". With increasingly hot and dry conditions and wind in the forecast for the end of this week, it is critical that the public remain vigilant, report wildfires and prevent new fire starts.
  • There has not been significant lightning activity in the region over the past few days. However, there have been "holdover" fires sparked by lightning strikes that occurred over 10 days ago. These flare-ups can occur after prolonged hot and dry conditions, paired with wind activity. These types of fires tend to burn aggressively once they flare up.

Parks Canada Update - Wardle Creek Fire

  • Highway 93S remains partially closed - the next assessment will be at 9pm tonight - please check http://www.drivebc.ca or www.alberta511.ca to see the latest on the status of the road/alternate routes, etc.
  • The fire is estimated at 2,250 ha
  • They had 12 helicopters, 8 pieces of heavy equipment and 125 personnel on the fire today
  • For the most up-to-date information on area closures, fire status, other park updates, visit the Parks Canada website at: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/bc/kootenay/securite-safety/kpn-knp-feu-fire-2018#faq

Smoke, Smoke and More Smoke - if you are in the East Kootenay, you don't need me to tell you that the smoky skies bulletin remains in effect. WOW, is it thick out there.  What might be reassuring (or a little helpful) is to know that the smoke is from the US and large fires in the Okanagan (in addition to local smoke).  The weather forecast is calling for the heavy smoke to stick around for a few days yet and Environment Canada's Smoky Skies Bulletin remains in effect.  The weather forecast is calling for the possibility of strong winds over the weekend (and possible isolated thunderstorms).

  • To report a wildfire 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: http://www.bcwildfire.ca

This information is compiled from the BC Wildfire Service, Parks Canada and Environment Canada.  Things can change and their sites can be updated at any time.  It's always best to check with their websites for the latest information or contact them directly if you have questions.

The campfire ban remains in place - and also of note, there are currently no backcountry/ATV restrictions other than some road/access restrictions around the active fires (check each fire for specifics).   To view current bans and restrictions, visit: http://bcfireinfo.for.gov.bc.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/Bans.asp and click on the Southeast Fire Centre.

General Emergency Information

Emergency Numbers:

To report a wildland fire, flood, hazardous materials situation (or other large scale emergency), these are the numbers to call:

  • Wide-Scale Flooding: 1-800-663-3456
  • Wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation: 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on a cellphone
  • Other (spills, airplane crashes, landslides, avalanche): 1-800-663-3456

General Wildland Fire Information:

There is currently a campfire ban, category 2 and 3 open burning ban in place - which essentially means NO outdoor burning is permitted. Prohibited under the bans are: burning of brush piles, burning of grass, burning barrels and the setting off of fireworks and campfires. As of Aug 1, 2018, portable propane campfires ARE still permitted; however, all wood-burning campfires are prohibited.  You should check the link below to ensure no campfire restrictions have been added.

Fire bans and restrictions are set by the Province and the BC Wildfire Service keeps an updated page on its website listing all bans and restrictions:

The RDEK is in the Southeast Fire Centre. If you live in the rural parts of the RDEK, these are the restrictions you must abide by.  If you live in an incorporated municipality, you should contact your municipality to confirm whether they have any additional municipal bylaws in effect.  If you want more information on burning regulations, contact the Southeast Fire Centre at 250-365-4040.

If you are unsure about the different fire categories, this poster and brochure from the BC Wildfire Service may be helpful:

  • Fire Classifications Poster - overview of Open Fire Regulations in BC, including definitions of Category 2, 3 Fires and Campfires
  • Backyard and Industrial Burning -  This brochure is focused on Category 2 fires, but with really good/important information on safety and our personal responsibilities when lighting fires

Other ways to get information:

Other Links:

Last edited: Tue, August 14, 2018 - 9:21:37