NOTE: As wildfire season winds down for 2020 we will no longer be updating this story unless conditions change.
There are 21 wildfires currently burning in British Columbia, with the majority now in the province’s Kamloops Fire Centre.
No new fires have been sparked in the last two days.
In Southern B.C., many residents are still reporting an increase in smoke in the region. This is due to wildfires burning across the border in Washington state, Oregon and California.
Children and the elderly population should take it easy and any strenuous outdoor activity should be rescheduled, according to Environment Canada.
There remain two wildfires of note, which means they are very visible or pose a threat to public safety.
To see the location of the current wildfires around B.C., click the map below.
Wildfires of note
The BC Wildfire Service still estimates the lightning-caused Doctor Creek wildfire to be 7,645 hectares as of Friday, Sept. 18.
The fire, which is classified as “being held,” is burning about 25 kilometres southwest of Canal Flats, about an hour’s drive north of Cranbrook.
The fire is burning in steep and rocky terrain. Battling the blaze are 64 firefighters, two helicopters and eight pieces of heavy equipment.
The BC Wildfire Service says no structures are currently threatened.
Ignition operations on the Doctor Creek wildfire are now complete. The ignitions successfully brought the fire’s edge down to more accessible terrain. As a result of the ignitions, the fire size is now estimated to be 8,050 hectares. pic.twitter.com/2IMPAX7g9C
— BC Wildfire Service (@BCGovFireInfo) September 12, 2020
As a result of planned ignitions and smoke drifting into the area from wildfires burning in the United States, aviation resources are unable to complete a new perimeter track at this time. When smoke dissipates, an aerial track will be completed.
Friday, crews will continue patrol and hot-spotting the fuel-free and will be expanding the 50 ft black line to 100 ft along the ignitions area perimeter. On Wednesday, day crews working along the retardant reinforced guard edge had mopped up to 50 ft and more in some sections. Today they will continue expanding to 100 ft in from the perimeter. Rehabilitation plans have been completed for the northern and eastern flanks of the fire and work is ongoing. Gear from this section of the fire has been demobbed to staging for transport to the warehouse.
The remainder of the gear has been demobilized from the northern and eastern flanks and is being moved to staging to be transferred to the warehouse. Crews are continuing with final patrols and hot spot checks. Rehabilitation plans have been completed for this section of the fire and work is ongoing.
One remote camera remains installed within the vicinity of the Doctor Creek wildfire to monitor fire behaviour.
An evacuation order for five properties in the Findlay Creek Area was rescinded and downgraded to an evacuation alert on Sept. 10. More information can be found here.
The BC Wildfire Service has reduced the size of the area restriction order for Crown land in the vicinity of the wildfire A detailed map of the affected area can be found here.
This lightning-caused fire remains an estimated 1,142 hectares in size and is located in the Slocan Valley, about 3.5 kilometres northwest of Highway 6 and about 30 km north of Castlegar.
On scene battling the blaze are 90 firefighters, nine helicopters and eight pieces of heavy equipment.
The Regional District of Central Kootenay has further reduced the evacuation alert area for the Talbott Creek wildfire.
The district is rescinding the Evacuation Alert for all properties east of the Slocan River, a total of 63 properties. The Evacuation Alert remains in place for 113 properties between Vallican and north to Drake Street along Slocan River Road.
Those residents should be ready to leave their homes at a moment’s notice.
Due to improved visibility, helicopters were able to fly through the day yesterday, Sept. 17. Helicopter operations continue today while visibility allows, and bucketing remains focused on the east flank in the McFayden and Draw Creek drainages.
Minimal fire growth was observed overnight. The majority of growth continues to be on the north flank, with some progression in the east. Crews are seeking hot-spots on the southwest edge of the fire and from McFayden Creek moving eastward.
The hose lay and sprinklers in the Tedesco Road area on the north flank of the fire are being maintained. Equipment continues working to construct a fuel-free line to further support the hose-lay. Firefighters are suppressing the fire in this area using water and hand tools.
Structure protection units have been installed along Slocan River Road and are being maintained.
As the western United States are experiencing an unprecedented level of wildfire activity, the #BCWildfire Service has committed to sending an initial group of 207 firefighters and related personnel to Redmond, Oregon. pic.twitter.com/GYyzpsM7Xg
— BC Wildfire Service (@BCGovFireInfo) September 17, 2020
This fire is highly visible from the Slocan Valley as well as surrounding communities.
An area restriction order for the Little Slocan area has been rescinded, although the Tedesco Forest Service Road will remain closed to both industrial and non-industrial traffic to accommodate response operations.
Officials are also asking the public to not stop or slow down on Highway 6 or the Slocan River Road to take photos of the fire. As both roads are narrow, slowing and stopping traffic can create significant safety hazards.
Road closures and area restrictions are subject to change depending on fire activity.
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