Discovered Tuesday

Rain cools wildfire near B.C.-U.S. border

First major fire in southern B.C. affects traffic on Highway 3 between Grand Forks and Christina Lake

B.C. Wildfire Service crews are tackling the first major southern fire of the season, burning next to Highway 3 near Grand Forks and the U.S. border.

The Gilpin fire was discovered Tuesday and was 25 per cent contained by Wednesday, helped by cooler temperatures and some rain and estimated at 224 hectares. Heavy smoke caused visibility problems for drivers between Christina Lake and Grand Forks.

B.C. Wildfire Service deployed 64 firefighters, three helicopters and three pieces of heavy equipment.

Three much larger fires in northeastern B.C. were mostly contained by Wednesday, including the Siphon Creek fire that has burned 85,000 hectares and reached into northwestern Alberta. Firefighters from Ontario are assisting with that fire.

The Beatton Airport Road fire north of Fort St. John was 90 per cent contained at about 16,000 hectares Wednesday. Burning since April 18, the fire caused evacuations during May.