The Canadian Rockies International Airport north of Cranbrook has been placed on evacuation alert as the result of St. Mary’s River wildfire activity on Thursday and overnight Friday.
Additionally, 71 properties on the west and and eastern flanks of the fire have been placed on evacuation alert by the RDEK.
Additionally, the RDEK has placed 71 properties under evacuation alert on the west and east flanks of the fire, including an area on the east bank of the Kootenay River... pic.twitter.com/GsEPark7PA— Trevor Crawley (@tcrawls) July 21, 2023
“The airport being within the evacuation alert area is positive as the community here will be prepared to act accordingly if needed. This change of status, capturing YXC within the alert area will not impact flights as all required staffing and operational needs continue while on alert,” says Tristen Chernove, Airport Manager, Canadian Rockies International Airport. “As we’ve seen, flight cancellations can occur due to smoke, but most flights have been operating and we expect on time scheduled flights to be continuing.”
The Cranbrook fire department has been mobilized for structure protection on critical assets at the airport.
Anyone flying into or out of the Cranbrook airport is encouraged to check in with their air carrier about the status of their flights.
The RDEK’s evacuation alert extends beyond the Woods Corner West properties and includes:
• Clearview Road
• 8055 Highway 95A
• McGinty Road
• 3497, 3503, 3509, 3567, 3624, 3639, 3684, 3703, 3706, 3716, 3721, 3734, 3750, 3762 Mission-Wycliffe Road
• Pineridge Road
• Sommerfeldt Road
“Evacuation Alerts are intended to give residents time to prepare themselves and their properties in the event that conditions worsen,” said Loree Duczek, Regional Emergency Operations Centre Information Officer “Taking the time at this stage to put together important papers (like insurance papers), medications, valuables, supplies for children and pets, and other important items can make a huge difference if they need to leave on a moment’s notice.”
With the latest update, there are 105 properties in the RDEK jurisdiction under evacuation alert, and 15 under evacuation order.
In the n ʔaq̓am community, 52 homes are under evacuation order, and nine under evacuation alert.
“We are working closely with the BC Wildfire Service and ʔaq̓am as this is still very much an evolving situation,” adds Duczek. “We are once again urging all residents of the East Kootenay to register for the Regional Evacuation Notification System if they have not already done so. This is a free service that will immediately notify you if your property is the subject of an evacuation alert or order.
It can sometimes take several hours to complete a door-to-door notification, and this system can send thousands of notifications out in under a minute. It’s an incredibly helpful tool when every second counts.”
To register for the service, visit the RDEK website at www.rdek.bc.ca.
The fire has grown to approximately 2,601 hectares largely driven by peak wildfire activity Wednesday afternoon and evening.
The BC Wildfire Service has issued an area restriction for to the north and west areas of the ʔaq̓am community.
More to come Friday morning.