Fall weather puts damper on fire danger

·1 min read

A turn to more fall-like weather has given firefighters a leg-up in battling several wildfires in the area.

The Southeast Fire Centre remains a literal hotspot in the province as the 2022 wildfire season tapers off, with more than 62 fires burning in the region. About 16 of those fires were burning in the Valley Voice readership area at press time.

The impact of the rain was felt on the 900-hectare Fry Creek fire burning near the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy, about 15 kilometres north of Kaslo on the east side of Kootenay Lake. That fire is burning in steep and inaccessible terrain, and prompted evacuation alerts for several nearby communities, including the boat-access only settlement of Birchdale, and the south end of Johnson’s Landing. However, it was removed as a ‘fire of note’ by the BC Wildfire Service over the weekend, and i’s status changed to ‘being held’. The Monument Creek fire (660 hectares) north of Nelson was also declared as ‘being held’ over the weekend.

The cooler, wet weather prompted officials to cancel evacuation alerts across the area on September 15, though some area restrictions remain.

Both Monument Creek, still ‘out-of-control’ Woden Creek fire east of Burton, and fires in the US contributed to reduced air quality in the region’s valleys. Environment Canada has been issuing regular warnings and alerts since the start of the month, depending on atmospheric conditions.

None of the fires are threatening buildings or structures.

John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice