The Cummings Creek wildfire near Sparwood, pictured on August 12 2022. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

Cummings Creek fire near Sparwood to be downgraded

The fire will no longer be ‘of note’ as of the end of August 22

The Cummings Creek wildfire to the west of Sparwood is being downgraded, with BC Wildfire Service efforts to control it and protect the community successful enough for the fire to be removed from the province’s ‘Wildfires of Note’ list.

The fire, which began on August 3 from a lightning strike burned over 52 hectares of steep terrain within the area locally known as the Wilson Draw.

BC Wildfire Service efforts were focused on ensuring the fire did not cross Cummings Creek, and did not advance towards Sparwood.

In an August 21 update, the BC Wildfire Service said that the fire would no longer be classed as a ‘fire of note’ as of the end of August 22, but that it was still regarded as ‘out of control’, simply because the fire was burning in inoperable terrain that crews are unable to access safely. The fire had not grown in size beyond the 52 hectare perimeter for many days before.

Fire crews began to be redeployed away from the area on August 17. At its peak, there were over 40 crew-members working in the area and assessing the danger to the community.

Going forward, sprinkler systems and fire hoses laid out in preparation for any changes in the fires intensity will remain in place.

A daily assessment of the fire will be conducted and a remote camera is in place to monitor the fire. Crews remain in the East Kootenays as part of the response to the Connell Ridge (Cranbrook) and Weasel Creek (near Baynes Lakes) wildfires.

The Cummings Creek wildfire is expected to burn for a long time due to crews inability to reach it.

READ MORE: BC Wildfire Service redeploy crews away from Sparwood
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