Several fires burning around Kimberley, B.C. remain out of control Tuesday night.
“As the smoke clears today and tomorrow, more extreme fire behaviour may be observed,” the B.C. Wildfire Service said.
The town of Kimberley and properties to the south and southeast of the city remain on evacuation alert while residents from 65 properties in the area of St. Mary Lake still can’t return to home.
The fire intensity is expected to exceed the capability of ground resources on the fires, according to a the Meachen Creek Complex fire report issued on Tuesday.
“Local winds will determine the direction of fire spread,” the report said. “When the effects of slope and wind compound, moderately fast rates of spread will be experienced.”
The Meachen Creek fire is estimated at 6,996 hectares and 14 firefighting personnel, three helicopters and seven pieces of heavy equipment have been assigned to the blaze located in the Kianuko Provincial Park and Meachen Creek drainage. The fire is burning about six kilometres southwest of properties under evacuation order around St. Mary Lake.
“Structural protection units will begin protecting values in zone two which is to the east of St. Mary Lake up to Lake Front Road,” the report said.
The B.C. Wildfire Service is planning a high-level scan of the Meachen Creek fire in the coming days to map the perimeter of the fire.
An incident management team from Ontario, comprised of a crew of 22 people, assumed command of the Meachen Creek Complex Sunday night.
Another 706-hectare fire burning 14 kilometres north of Kimberley, part of the Lost Dog Complex fires and is also burning out of control.
“Some hand ignitions will once again be conducted on the east flank to eliminate unburnt fuels,” the BC Wildfire Service said. “A heavy helicopter with bucket will be used to suppress the line in the uncontained area.”
The Mount Dickson fire is 1,391 hectares and is burning out of control, but not as active as other area fires, south of the Meachen Creek wildfire.
“This fire is being monitored and therefore no ground resources have been assigned, only three helicopters,” the B.C. Wildfire Service said.