There have been 75 new wildfire starts in the Southeast Fire Centre over the past 48 hours, as a result of recent and ongoing lightning in the region.
The BC Wildfire Service is prioritizing these new fires and responding to them accordingly.
Currently, 109 fires are burning within the Southeast Fire Centre’s jurisdiction. Since April 1, 2018, 245 fires have burned 3,013 hectares. The fire danger rating in the Southeast Fire Centre is currently a mix of “high” and “extreme.”
Sage Creek wildfire
There is one new wildfire of note in the Southeast Fire Centre. The Sage Creek wildfire is located in the Flathead area, about 65 kilometres southeast of Fernie and about six kilometres southwest of the B.C.-Alberta border.
- This fire covers about 1,016 hectares and is producing a large column of smoke that is highly visible from Pincher Creek, Alberta, and surrounding areas.
- The BC Wildfire Service has classified this fire as a modified response fire. That means that the fire is being closely monitored, and a combination of direct and indirect suppression techniques are being used. It is burning vigorously, but in remote terrain.
- The cause of this fire is currently under investigation.
Effective immediately, the Flathead Sage Creek Forest Service Road is closed to traffic starting at the 74-kilometre mark, at the junction of the Flathead Kishinena Forest Service Road and the Flathead Sage Forest Service Road. A detailed map showing this road closure is available online at: http://ow.ly/PoR630lghFI
BC Wildfire Service crews are working to reinforce the Flathead Sage Forest Service Road as a fire guard on the north end of the Sage Creek wildfire. The south side of the fire is burning upslope and connecting with the fuel break created by the 2017 Kenow Mountain wildfire. Winds in the area are expected to shift late this afternoon and direct smoke from this fire south of the U.S. border.
Road closure on Beaverfoot Forest Service Road
A road closure remains in effect on the Beaverfoot Forest Service Road starting at the 47-kilometre mark (near the Symond Creek Bridge). No access is permitted on this section of road, which is near the Whitetail Creek wildfire. A map showing this road closure is available online at: http://ow.ly/fPsk30lbJBe
There are currently no backcountry closures, area restrictions or ATV restrictions in the Southeast Fire Centre’s jurisdiction.
Reminder about campfire prohibition
The BC Wildfire Service reminds the public that a campfire prohibition is in effect for the entire Southeast Fire Centre. Given the current wildfire activity and weather conditions, it is crucial to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires so the BC Wildfire Service can deal with new naturally occurring fires.
Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs. For more information about current bans and restrictions, visit: gov.bc.ca/wildfirebans
To report a wildfire or open-burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free, or *5555 on a cellphone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air-quality advisories, visit: http://www.bcwildfire.ca
You can also follow the latest wildfire news on:
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo
- Facebook: http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo
For more information about wildfires in your area, please visit the interactive wildfire map on the BC Wildfire Service website at: www.bcwildfire.ca
Information about fire danger ratings is available online at: http://gov.bc.ca/wildfiredanger
Information about how to be prepared if an evacuation alert or evacuation order is issued for your area is available on the PreparedBC website at: http://ow.ly/IMN130lf9PI