British Columbia

Winds die down around B.C. wildfire in East Kootenays as crews work to contain flames

Calmer winds help crews battling Doctor Creek Fire; lightning confirmed as cause of Christie Mountain fire

Gusts fanned the flames of a wildfire near village at the southern end of Columbia Lake over the weekend

The Doctor Creek wildfire was discovered north of Cranbrook, B.C., on Aug. 18. (BC Wildfire Service/Twitter)

Wind gusts fanned the flames of a wildfire near Canal Flats, B.C., at the southern end of Columbia Lake over the weekend, increasing its size by about four square kilometres, but officials said Monday the wind had calmed down.

The B.C. Wildfire Service said winds increased the size of the Doctor Creek fire in the East Kootenays to about 58 square kilometres on Saturday, but the weather has since quietened — though not in an ideal way.

"The wind is less ... but we are not anticipating any significant rain for seven to 10 days," fire information officer Taylor Colman said Monday.

The service said a specialized rappel crew has established helipads to access an area of the fire that is on steep and rocky terrain. A sprinkler system was successfully installed over the weekend.

The service says a team of personnel, supported by aviation and heavy machines, is helping to create a natural fuel break to prevent the fire from spreading further.

The Regional District of East Kootenay is maintaining an evacuation order for 10 properties in the Findlay Creek area.

Christie Mountain fire update

Meanwhile, an update from the B.C. Wildfire Service says the Christie Mountain fire near Penticton was ignited by lightning.

The fire remains active but is "being held," meaning it's not likely to spread beyond existing boundaries.

"There are a number of single trees on the west flank that have burned internally and are now coming down. These trees are creating visible smoke but they are burning within the perimeter," said the notice. 

The Regional District of Okanagan/Similkameen Emergency Operations Centre says although smoke is still visible, there is no imminent threat to properties in the area at this time. 

It is asking boaters on Skaha Lake to stay clear of aircraft working on the fire.


With files from CBC News


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