Smoke hangs thick over the mountains in Elko, where fires nearby burn freely, as the BC Wildfire Service remains unable to fight them from ground or sky due to poor visibility. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

BC Wildfire Service still unable to fly over fires burning in Flathead

A shift in wind is expected either tomorrow or Sunday

  • Sep. 7, 2017 4:25 p.m.

Alexandra Heck

Free Press Staff

The BC Wildfire Service remains unable to fight three fires burning southeast of Elko, both in the air and on the ground.

A thick blanket of smoke, mostly pouring in from heavy fires south of the border, is obscuring the Wildfire Service’s ability to monitor the fires or fight them.

BC Wildfire Service Fire Information Officer, Carlee Kachman, says that an aerial view is necessary in order to understand what is happening with the fires.

“You can’t run planes at all in this weather,” said Kachman, explaining that there has been no change on the status of the fires. “That blanket of smoke is completely covering the area and it’s impeding any air operations.”

On Friday, September 8, the Wildfire Service said they are expecting a shift in wind either tomorrow or Sunday. Kachman said that with this change, the smoke will clear the area and allow planes to fight the fire from the air. However, less smoke means less obstruction to the sun, which means that the fire will burn hotter.

“Right now we have no updated information on the fire size,” she said. “The fires are being monitored on the ground, but again, you can only see a portion of the fire at that time.”

Smoke is currently impacting all air operations on fires in the East Kootenays, and the Wildfire Service is waiting for the smoke to clear while devloping a plan to combat the fires.

Just Posted

Ghostriders show grit and tenacity

Hard work and heartbreak; a reoccurring theme in Fernie’s past two hockey… Continue reading

Fernie Swim team aims for Nationals

Aidan Chudleigh has high hopes for his swim team this year, and… Continue reading

Jaffray Area OCP goes to public hearing

The public hearing will be held November 22nd at 7:00 PM at the Jaffray Community Hall.

Oil dumped illegally at Tie Lake Transfer Station

The Regional District of East Kootenay is searching for any information in… Continue reading

Forecasters promote avalanche safety awareness

Avalanche Canada advising backcountry enthusiasts to get proper training and equipment.

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Sparwood florist to compete nationally

The Maple Leaf Cup; where art and flower design meet under one… Continue reading

Start on time: Canucks looking to shake first-period struggles

Canucks centre Bo Horvat said the formula for getting a leg up is there for everyone to see

COMMUTER ALERT: Snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

Travelling this weekend? Check the forecasts before hitting the road

Drones take off to search for missing North Okanagan women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

Tips for keeping your personal data safe, from the experts

It’s important to keep your ‘online footprint’ safe

Lights to turn blue ahead of funeral for fallen Abbotsford police officer

Buildings across B.C. are going blue Saturday night in honour of Const. John Davidson

Ride-share pioneer drives up quietly to B.C. battleground

Lyft approaches B.C. without Uber bombast, eyes small towns

Rising gas prices have valley drivers fuming

Two weeks ago, $20 worth of gas got Delenia Phillips twice as… Continue reading

Most Read