Image of the Cummings Creek wildfire of note, taken by BC Wildfire Service on August 7. (Image courtesy of BC Wildfire Service)

Two fires of note in Elk Valley area

The Cummings Creek and Weasel Creek wildfires are being monitored

The Cummings Creek / Wilson Creek wildfire to the west of the District of Sparwood has been designated a ‘fire of note’ by the BC Wildfire Service.

In an update on Monday, August 8 the BC Wildfire Service described it as exhibiting ‘aggressive fire behaviour’ overnight.

“The fire is continuing to burn in extremely steep, inoperable terrain where it is unsafe for crews or equipment to work on suppression operations or build containment lines.

“The access to the fire is limited, partly because of steep terrain and partly due to the smoky conditions that limit air access.”

The fire is estimated to be around 43 hectares in size, and has been burning since August 3, and is suspected to have been caused by lightning.

In a post on Facebook keeping the community up to date on response activities, the BC Wildfire Service said that as of August 8, Sparwood was not threatened.

Response is currently ongoing monitoring of the fire, and preparations for structure protection if needed. Residents may expect an influx of apparatus over Monday.

“We want to give structure protection personnel ample time to deploy structure protection apparatus in the event of the fire progressing closer to the community of Sparwood.”

An information session for Sparwood is planned for Tuesday August 9, at 8pm at the Recreation and Leisure Centre at 367 Pine Ave.

To the south, a second fire of note is burning in the Elk Valley Region, with the Weasel Creek Fire currently estimated at 526 hectares as of Monday.

The Weasel Creek Fire started South of the border in Montana prior to July 30, when it was discovered.

As it currently straddles the border, responsible agencies in Canada and the US are collaborating on monitoring the fire, which is being watched by the U.S. Forest Service in Montana, and the Connell Ridge wildfire response team in Cranbrook.

The fire crossed the border on August 4, and is currently burning into the Flathead Valley, two kilometres west of Frozen Lake and 39 kilometres southeast of Baynes Lake.

On the southern side of the border, responders are focused on protecting resources and the community, with an area closure in place.

READ MORE: Wildfire burns across Montana border into B.C.



scott.tibballs@thefreepress.ca
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