British Columbia

Stolen equipment hindering battle against wildfire near Nelson, B.C.

A water pump and hundreds of feet of fire hose were stolen from a crew fighting Harrop Creek wildfire in B.C.

Water pump and hundreds of feet of hose stolen from fire crews near Harrop Creek

The B.C. Wildfire Service said on July 31 the Harrop Creek fire was growing but did not pose a threat to any buildings. (B.C. Wildfire Service)

Fire officials say someone has stolen equipment from crews fighting a wildfire northeast of Nelson, B.C., hindering efforts to control the flames.

The B.C. Wildfire Service says a water pump and 10 lengths of hose, each spanning about 30 metres, were taken on Monday from crews battling the Harrop Creek wildfire.

"Criminal acts such as these impact the effectiveness of fire suppression activities and pose safety risks to the public and also to the first responders working to contain these fires," the service wrote in a statement.

As of Tuesday, the lightning-caused fire was estimated at 655 hectares. It's located approximately 10 kilometres south of the small communities of Harrop and Procter.

Crews say they don't believe the fire is threatening any homes or buildings, but the agency did say it was particularly challenging due to intense smoke and the location's steep and complex terrain.

A helicopter and 20 firefighters have been focused on building a guard to prevent the spread of the flames.

More than 130 fires are burning across the province and about 6,000 people remain displaced due to evacuation orders.