Wildfire near Cranbrook is out, but conditions are heating up

Southeast Fire Centre urges residents to be extremely careful; Human-caused fires divert resources from naturally occuring wildfires.

A small wildfire that was discovered Saturday, August 4, just south of Cranbrook is now out, according to the Southeast Fire Centre.

The fire, just off Hidden Valley Road 2. 5 kilometres south of Cranbrook, was believed to be human caused, according to BC Wildfire Service. It reached .2 hectares in size.

Meanwhile, several lightning strikes are burning in the Southeast Fire Centre — basically covering the Kootenays. The largest is the Sage Creek wildfire 65 kilometres southeast of Fernie near the Alberta border has reached 1,239 hectares in size.

An Alberta Incident Management Team (IMT) is on site of this fire, according to Carlee Kachman of the Southeast Fire Centre (SEFC).

Further north, the Whitetail Creek fire just outside Kootenay National Park has been burning for over a week, at one point prompting the closure of the highway because of visibility concerns. As of Sunday, August 5, the fire was at 240 hectares, still classified as out of control.

The SEFC’s Kachman reiterated that residents must be extremely careful during the current hot, dry conditions.

Human-caused wildfires, she said divert hard pressed firefighting resources from the naturally occurring wildfires.

In the East Kootenay region, $4,600 in fines were issued in relation to four separate fires during fire ban patrols on Friday, according to the BC Conservation Officer Service

“What were the campers thinking?,” B.C.’s conservation service tweeted Saturday.

“As always, [the public should remember] that the campfire ban is in place. and that diverts from the naturally occurring wildfires that are occurring,” Kachman said.

“We did have a band of lightning that went through … there are lots of different wildfires throughout our region. Not necessarily near Cranbrook though.

“So be mindful, because we’re going to be going really hot and dry going into the next few days — even more so that now.

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