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BC Wildfire Service responding to large Columbia Valley wildfires

Incident Management Team has taken over fire response to all three major fires in the area
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The Horsethief Creek wildfire. Photo courtesy BC Wildfire Service.

Fire behaviour at the Horsethief Creek wildfire near Invermere has picked up over the last few days, as growth has been driven by wind and steep terrain on the southwest flank of the perimeter.

Today (Aug. 1), crews are working on establishing control lines in the Bruce Creek drainage and tying it in to the Law Creek drainage, along with support from heavy equipment.

Burning west of Invermere, the fire is mapped at over 1,000 hectares and is suspected to be lightning-caused.

The RDEK has issued one evacuation order for the Bear Mountain area, while also placing 26 properties on evacuation alert. A previously issued evacuation alert for over 1,000 properties has been rescinded.

BC Wildfire Service is asking residents and visitors to be mindful of helicopter bucketing operations utilizing Lillian Lake and Paddy Ryan Lake.

Also in the region, the Yearling Creek wildfire is burning east of Radium Hot Springs at just over an estimated 1,300 hectares.

Fire crews are working on a 50-foot wet line along the Cross Forest Service Rd. on the west flank of the fire, while preparations are in the works for a planned ignition to the south o the fire along steep slopes where ground suppression tactics aren’t safe.

An evacuation alert has been issued for the Nipika Mountain Resort, Cross River Education and Retreat Centre, Cross River forest service road and Cross River Canyon recreation site.

Further south, the Mia Creek wildfire is burning at 881 hectares in a remote area northeast of Canal Flats.

The BC Wildfire Service is monitoring the wildfire and formulating a response plan.

Last week, an incident management team took over command of the Horsethief Creek complex, which includes the Horsethief Creek and Mia Creek wildfires.

The BC Wildfire Service also warns that warmer than average temperatures, low humidity and clear skies this week may lead to increased fire behaviour.