As of Saturday afternoon, more than 20 fires were burning in the Southeast Fire Centre, with two of them — the Hobo Creek fire and the St. Mary Fire — designated as fires of note.
The Hobo Creek fire is about 12 kilometres west of Highway 95 and 35 kilometres southeast of Golden.
According to the B.C. Wildfire Service, as of noon on July 21, this lightning-caused fire was estimated to be 54 hectares and 41 personnel, four helicopters, four water tenders and heavy equipment were on site.
The Columbia-Shuswap Regional District has issued an evacuation alert for the recreation sites at Mitten Lake, Bittern Lake, Nine Bay and McLean Lake. The fire has the potential to impact the Parson Forest Service Road used to access those areas. Information on the alert can be found at csrd.bc.ca.
The St. Mary River fire is located south of Highway 95A, about 12 kilometres northwest of Cranbrook.
This fire is currently being held at 6.7 hectares and is not likely to spread beyond the existing boundaries. Eleven firefighters were on site on Saturday.
An evacuation order put in place by the Regional District of East Kootenay has been rescinded.
Many of the other fires burning throughout the Southeast Fire Centre have been caused by recent and ongoing lightning strikes.
The B.C. Wildfire Service says these fires are not currently affecting any communities or structures and are being addressed in priority sequence.
The Blacktail Mountain fire is burning just outside of Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park, northeast of Slocan. It is estimated at 50 hectares in size and is burning in remote terrain. Three firefighters and one helicopter were on site Saturday.
This fire is being managed as a “modified response” using a combination of suppression techniques and monitoring to contain fire activity within pre-determined perimeters.
The fire danger rating in the Southeast Fire Centre is currently a mixture of “moderate,” “high” and “extreme” across the south and central parts of the region, with areas of “moderate” in the north.
The BC Wildfire Service is reminding members of the public to stay clear of firefighting aircraft that are collecting water from lakes and other bodies of water. Recreational boaters should stay clear, as their presence in the water interferes with BC Wildfire Service’s ability to fight a fire, since a pilot cannot collect water when a boat is in its intended flight path.