A lightning-caused fire is burning about 1.5 kilometres south of the Canada-U.S. border and about 18 kilometres southwest of the community of Newgate (about 65 kilometres southeast of Cranbrook).
The size of this fire is currently estimated at 178 hectares and smoke is highly visible from Newgate, Lake Koocanusa and surrounding areas. The U.S. Forest Service is currently fighting this fire with the support of airtankers.
The BC Wildfire Service is monitoring the situation closely, has been in contact with U.S. Forest Service officials, and is working on a response plan in case the fire crosses the border.
In the event that firefighting aircraft need to collect water from nearby Lake Koocanusa, the BC Wildfire Service reminds members of the public that they must stay clear of these aircraft for safety reasons.
- If a boater is reported as getting in the way of an airtanker, helicopter or other firefighting aircraft, the incident will be investigated by the government’s Compliance and Enforcement Branch, the Conservation Officer Service and/or the RCMP.
- Under the Wildfire Act, the person responsible could face a violation ticket fine of $1,150 or an administrative penalty of up to $100,000. The person could also be charged with an offence under the Wildfire Act, which carries a maximum fine of $100,000.
The Southeast Fire Centre extends from the U.S. border in the south to the Mica Dam in the north and from the Okanagan Highlands and Monashee Mountains in the west to the B.C.-Alberta border in the east. The Southeast Fire Centre includes the Selkirk Natural Resource District and the Rocky Mountain Natural Resource District.
To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call *5555 on a cellphone or 1 800 663-5555 toll-free. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: www.bcwildfire.ca
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