The RDEK is applauding the efforts of the BC Wildfire Service and City of Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Services for their quick action in dousing an interface wildfire Sunday afternoon north of Jim Smith Lake.
“The fire broke out in a forested area heavily used by residents for recreating,” says RDEK Emergency Services Coordinator Travis Abbey. “There was certainly the potential for that situation to be extremely serious and we are very grateful for the immediate and effective response of all involved.”
Ten structural firefighters from the City of Cranbrook Fire Department and one piece of apparatus spent over three and a half hours supporting BC Wildfire Service personnel on the scene. Late last night, the Fire Department responded to another call in the Hidden Valley area where they found and extinguished an abandoned campfire.
“What makes yesterday’s situation that much more troublesome is that although the Jim Smith fire remains under investigation, it is suspected to be human-caused. The Hidden Valley campfire was absolutely human negligence,” adds Abbey. “We cannot stress enough that the fire danger is extreme and it is imperative that we all be smart out there.”
In addition, crews from Radium and Invermere dealt with a human-caused fire near Radium over the weekend and the Windermere Fire Department responded to a grass fire. “We have been lucky that we haven’t had the lightning and winds that other areas of the Province have been experiencing, but the hazard rating here is just as extreme. There is no excuse for human-caused fires.”
With the potential for a dry thunderstorm system to move through the East Kootenay today, it is important for residents to also know how to report fires if they see them. To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.
For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: http://www.bcwildfire.ca