Columbia Valley Pioneer Staff

An incident management team is reportedly en route to the Invermere fire zone to assume control of the Horsethief Creek, Yearling Creek, and Mia Creek wildfires.

The BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) reported that fire activity increased late Tuesday afternoon with winds of 50 to 60 km/h. “Fire growth occurred in a northwest direction away from communities, infrastructure and properties,” the agency stated.

By Wednesday morning, fire activity had decreased. Wednesday is forecast to be sunny, warm and dry with variable, but generally light winds. On Thursday, there is potential for thunderstorms bringing dry lighting and gusting winds, according to BCWS.

The size of the Horsethief Creek fire was estimated at 966 hectares on Tuesday.

Ground crews, aviation resources and heavy equipment are working on control lines to contain the fire. Aircraft include three helicopters and two aerial firefighting planes (“scoopers”) capable of holding up to 1,200 gallons (4,542 litres) of water.

Heavy equipment crews are making progress on a machine guard on the east flank. BC Hydro is on site working to protect its infrastructure.

Structure protection personnel, working with local fire departments, are on site to conduct assessments and set up and install equipment as required in areas of potential concern.  The Regional District of East Kootenay has issued an evacuation ORDER and ALERT as follows: https://www.rdek.bc.ca/departments/protectiveservices/emergencyinfo/evacuation_alerts_orders/

The BCWS previously reported that the Horsethief Creek fire is approximately 10 kilometres west of the District of Invermere. For a better understanding of what that really means, visit the explanation given on the Invermere Fire Rescue Facebook page.

It’s important to remember that fires can spread rapidly, especially under certain conditions such as strong winds, low humidity, and high temperatures.

“Scoopers” pick up water from Lake Windermere.
(Photo by Cortney Pitts)