The Nk’Mip Creek wildfire jumped fire guards near the base of Mt. Baldy last weekend, leaving over 100 properties under evacuation orders. Fanned by winds of up to 60 kilometres per hour, the fire was burning around 2.5 kilometres west of Mount Baldy by the time The Gazette went to press Monday, Aug. 16.
Anitra Winje, Corporate Officer at the Regional District of Kootenay-Boundary (RDKB), said air tankers had dropped flame retardant chemicals in a bid to halt the fire’s spread further northward. The BC Wildfire Service had 213 firefighters battling the flames, with 20 service personnel deployed to the Mt. Baldy resort area, Winje said.
The RDKB granted short home visits to 10 full-time area residents on Thursday, Aug. 12, after which it suspended all visits pending safer wildfire conditions.
The fire has been a concern for West Boundary residents since it broke out near Osoyoos on July 19. The RDKB declared a state of local emergency the next day, ordering the evacuation of 123 Area E properties north of Highway 3, along the regional district’s western border with the neighbouring Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen.
The RDKB’s Emergency Website provides a full list of Area E properties still under evacuation.
The Nk’Mip Creek wildfire was burning an estimated 17,472 hectares as of last Monday, according to Winje.
West Boundary Ranchers who need access to their livestock are asked to either call the RDKB’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) at 250-368-7037, or email the centre at firstname.lastname@example.org.