Crews respond to fires in Kootenay Boundary Zone

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary has placed an Evacuation Alert for three homes after a 15-hectare fire in Westbridge broke out.

  • Jun. 29, 2015 9:00 a.m.

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary has placed an Evacuation Alert for three homes near Highway 33 after a wildfire in the Westbridge area, estimated to be 15 hectares in size, broke out.

Wildfire Management Branch crews responded to the fire 11 kilometers north of Rock Creek on Monday, June 29.

The fire was caused by lightning.

According to the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, four firefighters, two helicopters and airtankers were on site on Sunday, June 28 and twenty additional firefighters; three pieces of heavy equipment and industry personnel were dispatched to assist in suppression efforts.

Wildfire Management Branch personnel also responded to seven other lightning-caused fires within the Boundary Zone on the weekend.

The news of the Westbridge fire came after a Southeast Fire Centre warning, advising the public to be extremely vigilant while recreating over the June 27-28 weekend, was delivered.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations advisory cautioned outdoor recreation users of a significant amount of lightning in the southeast region.

“Following an unusually dry spring and with near record-breaking temperatures expected in the region … the Southeast Fire Centre would like to remind the public of the elevated fire danger,” the notice read. “The forecast for the weekend is calling for low humidity levels as well as poor overnight recoveries, which may cause fine fuels to be particularly prone to quick ignition.”

Guidelines for recreating outdoors include campfires remained smaller than a half-metre wide by a half-metre tall, not burning in windy conditions, cooling all ashes before leaving a campfire site, not parking all-terrain vehicles on grass or other areas where hot parts of the machine are close to combustible material and not throwing smoking material such as cigarette buts out of a vehicle window.

The Southeast Fire Centre reminded the public that personal Canada Day fireworks were banned under the Category 2 Open Fire Prohibition that came into effect on June 24.

The fire ban will remain in affect until further notice.

To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.