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Evacuation alert lifted for properties west of Kaslo

The owners of 14 properties along Kaslo Creek South Fork Road can breathe a little easier.

The evacuation alert issued three weeks ago due to the Briggs Creek wildfire west of Kaslo has been lifted.

The Regional District of Central Kootenay said it made the call today on the recommendation of the BC Wildfire Service.

“This has been a stressful month for residents along Kaslo Creek South Fork Road and we appreciate their patience and understanding through this process,” said Stephane Coutu, deputy director of the RDCK’s emergency operations centre in a news release.

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“The BC Wildfire Service has done an outstanding job to keep our communities safe and while this alert has been removed, it is imperative for residents to maintain awareness by monitoring the BC Wildfire Dashboard and make informed decisions.”

The Briggs Creek wildfire was first discovered at high elevation on Mount Kemp on Aug. 1 and is estimated to be 2,160 hectares. The cause of the fire is believed to be lightning. The majority of this fire has burned in incredibly steep and mountainous terrain.

The RDCK advises people to remain vigilant as conditions could change and an evacuation alert may be re-issued.

Although the fire was pegged last week at 1,700 hectares, wildfire officials say it hasn’t actually grown much recently.

They say because of heavy smoke over the past week, they couldn’t get a proper estimate of the fire until Sunday.

They say the fire remains “well within control lines.” Fifty-three firefighters and one helicopter are assigned to the blaze.

The BC Wildfire Service says a spot fire was noted high on the eastern containment line near an avalanche path. To prevent further spread towards Kemp Creek drainage, a helicopter was called in to assist with cooling that area. The spot fire is surrounded by a natural fuel break.

Due to the prolonged hot and dry spell, the service says we are seeing moderate to highly vigorous surface fire.

Briggs Creek remains by far the largest fire burning in the West Kootenay, although there are two dozen others.

The Gamble Creek fire due east of Salmo is now 100 hectares, the Mount Evans fire east of Boswell is 53 hectares, and the Mulvey Creek fire west of Slocan is 18 hectares.

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