An evacuation alert has now been expanded to parts of Johnsons Landing due to the Fry Creek wildfire.
The Regional District of Central Kootenay says the alert covers about 50 properties from Gar Creek south to Fry Creek and the community of Birchdale. The full list is at bottom, but they include homes on Houston Road, McNicol Road, Kootenay Joe Road, and Holmgren Road.
Those communities are northeast of Kaslo on the east shore of Kootenay Lake’s north arm.
The Regional District of Central Kootenay initially issued an alert on Thursday for 14 properties at Birchdale and Fry Creek, which are only accessible by boat.
RDCK spokesman Dan Elliott said there are both permanent and seasonal residents in those places, but they weren’t sure how many of each.
The Fry Creek wildfire was discovered on Aug. 25. It’s classified as out of control. The BC Wildfire Service says smoke is preventing accurate mapping, but it’s estimated at 150 hectares. It’s burning in steep terrain in the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy that the agency says is unsafe for crews to work on directly.
“The fire has grown over the last few days and is highly visible, particularly at night,” they said. Winds yesterday blew the fire onto the south side of the Fry Creek drainage, but the south flank towards Birchdale did not see the same growth.
Today, personnel are in the air and on the ground planning suppression action, BC Wildfire said. Airtankers are laying retardant on the south flank of the fire to slow its growth downslope.
It’s believed the fire was started by lightning.
It is the second evacuation alert the RDCK has issued this year. The other, for 14 properties west of Kaslo near the Briggs Creek wildfire, has since been rescinded.
The properties affected are:
1956 ARGENTA-JOHNSONS LANDING RD
138 BIRCHDALE WAY
200 BIRCHDALE WAY
2039 HOUSTON RD
2040 HOUSTON RD
2046 HOUSTON RD
2047 STENBERG RD
2051 ARGENTA-JOHNSONS LANDING RD
2051 HOUSTON RD
2075 ARGENTA-JOHNSONS LANDING RD
2080 ARGENTA-JOHNSONS LANDING RD
2110 HOUSTON RD
2155 MCNICOL RD
2165 MACNICOL RD, JOHNSON’S LANDING
2185 HOUSTON RD
2188 HOUSTON RD
2215 KOOTENAY JOE RD
2216 HOLMGREN RD
2223 HOLMGREN RD
2230 HOLMGREN RD
2240 KOOTENAY JOE RD
2244 HOLMGREN RD
2251 KOOTENAY JOE RD
2254 HOLMGREN RD
2260 HOLMGREN RD
2261 KOOTENAY JOE RD
2265 KOOTENAY JOE RD
2275 HOLMGREN RD
2280 HOLMGREN RD
Monument Creek fire
Meanwhile, the Monument Creek fire about 17 km north of Nelson is now estimated at about 300 hectares. It was also caused by lightning and grew thanks to wind on Wednesday. Parts of the fire have now moved into terrain considered safe for crews to access.
A unit crew and heavy equipment are being deployed to the Six Mile drainage to begin work there. Two helicopters are now assigned to this incident to cool that section while crews and heavy equipment work in the area. Response officers are on site assessing and developing a containment plan for the Duhamel Creek area. No structures are threatened.
Woden Creek fire
The Woden Creek fire, burning about 27 km northwest of Slocan and three kilometers west of Valhalla Park is estimated at 145 hectares and is also blamed on lightning.
Since Monday, ground crews have been working on containment with support from helicopters bucketing to cool fire behaviour. It doesn’t threaten any structures either.