August 24, 2015 9:08 am
Updated: August 24, 2015 2:37 pm

Stickpin fire in Washington State only 4.5 kilometres from B.C. border

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ABOVE: Fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek joins Sonia Sunger to talk about the current fire situation in B.C.

Wildfire crews from B.C. are in Washington State helping out in the fight against the aggressive Stickpin fire.

That blaze now covers 190 square kilometres and its northern edge is only four-and-a-half kilometres from the Canadian border.

Fortunately, officials say it does not seem to be creeping any closer.

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Fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek said they saw this fire flare up about a week-and-a-half ago. “We’ve been in constant communication with our counterparts in the U.S. forestry service, in terms of sharing intelligence, sharing information on the fire, looking at where the projected growth is going to be,” he said.

“Just as a proactive move, we did decide to pre-position some of our personnel and resources in Grand Forks, and starting yesterday, we did start sending some of our B.C. personnel across the border to work on the more northern aspects of the fire, looking at areas where we can get some containment in there to stem its growth further towards the border.”

Skrepnek said, given the proximity to the border, they felt it was necessary to send B.C. firefighters and equipment to help crews in Washington State and try and get a handle on the blaze.

Smoke from the U.S.’s many wildfires has been blowing across the border into southern B.C.

That has prompted air quality advisories for communities in the Kootenays, the Okanagan and the eastern Fraser Valley.

Wildfire officials say there are currently 183 active fires in B.C., most of them lightning-caused. Eight new fires started Saturday and two fires were started on Sunday.

By the end of last week, the province had spent $224 million fighting wildfires.

 

© 2015 Shaw Media

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