Columbia Valley Pioneer Staff

The lightning-caused Mitchell Ridge fire in Kootenay National Park has burned approximately 288 hectares but its growth has slowed thanks to yesterday’s rain.

Parks Canada said there is no threat to public safety, infrastructure or roads at this time, but the fire is considered out of control.

The fire reportedly began on the afternoon of May 19 when it was estimated at 21 hectares. At that time the location was approximately 2 km east of the Kootenay Valley viewpoint and 7 km north of Nipika Mountain Resort. 

On Monday, May 22, a total of 24 firefighters were working the fire by reinforcing containment lines along the south and southwest flanks. Four helicopters have been supporting ground crews with bucketing hot spots.

After 24 mm of rain on May 21, fire activity has slowed down. “We don’t anticipate further growth on the perimeter this week, said Kootenay National Park on it Facebook page.
“Today, our crews are capitalizing on the downturn in the weather; 33 Parks Canada firefighters, supported by two helicopters are falling danger trees, reinforcing hose lay on the south and west flanks and patrolling the northern perimeter for spotting.”
Since yesterday, much less smoke has been visible from Highway 93S. The fire danger rating for the park is now “low,” according to officials.

As of Monday, the wildfire had burned 260 hectares.
(Kootenay National Park photo)