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Kaslo-area fire shows little growth

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Although it’s now estimated at 1,680 hectares, the BC Wildfire Service says the Briggs Creek fire near Kaslo has not grown significantly in the last 24 hours. Nor do they expect it to grow much today.

The latest size estimate, which is up from 1,500 hectares, is due to more precise mapping, they said. The fire, which is believed to have been started by lightning, was discovered Monday 11.5 kilometers west of Kaslo. Fourteen rural homes remain on evacuation alert.

In an update posted this morning, the BC Wildfire Service described the blaze as a smouldering ground fire that is spreading slowly.

“The fire continues to maintain its position high on the slope,” they wrote. “When it has moved down slope it has been met with a change in fuel type that is not as easy to burn.”

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The fire is very visible from Kaslo and surrounding areas. The service said in the evening, when it is magnified by darkness, it may appear closer than it really is.

“Ground crews continue to monitor the fire late into the evening and early morning hours to ensure we are aware of any unwanted growth,” they said.

Nine firefighters and one helicopter are assigned to the blaze, but its steep terrain won’t allow for the use of heavy equipment.

Most of the fire is growing upslope at high elevation, which the wildfire service said “poses significant challenges to crews and resources.”

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Crews will continue to work along the Keen Creek Forest Service Road to keep the fire on the south slope,” they wrote. “They will continue to plan and locate areas where crews can connect and strengthen our designated control lines.”

A dedicated incident commander is on site to monitor any fire growth.

However, they added that the “significant safety risk” to pilots and the fact that no homes are threatened is why you aren’t seeing more of an aerial attack.

A public information session will be held on Friday at 5 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion in Kaslo, with representatives from the BC Wildfire Service, RDCK emergency operations centre, and Kaslo Fire Department.

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