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Wildfire burning near Sparwood, B.C. prompts emergency response

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Wildfire burning near Sparwood, B.C. prompts emergency response
Emergency officials are monitoring an out-of-control wildfire near Sparwood, B.C. The fire started over the weekend and now covers an estimated 150 hectares. As Erik Bay reports, the fire’s location is proving to be a challenge – Jul 24, 2023

The mountain skyline near the District of Sparwood, B.C. includes plumes of smoke, as a wildfire burns out of control on a ridge southwest of the municipality.

The Lladnar Creek wildfire sparked Friday from what’s believed to be a lightning strike now burning within a kilometre of the southeastern B.C. community.

The latest update from the B.C. Wildfire Service says elevated winds have caused the fire to more than triple in size, from around 40 hectares Sunday to 150 hectares Monday.

Airtankers and helicopters attacked the flames from above Saturday, but according to the wildfire service location is a challenge.

“While the fire has grown and moved down the ridgetop, it continues to burn in an area that is too steep and mountainous for crews or aviation resources to access safely,” said Kim Wright, a fire information officer with the B.C. Wildfire Service’s southeast fire centre.

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The service says aviation resources won’t resume until it is safe to do so.

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Officials say other suppression plans are in place.

“Ground personnel and heavy equipment personnel are assigned, which means you may be seeing them in the community in the coming days,” Wright said.

The weather is also being monitored. Winds are expected to pick up Monday evening, with the B.C. Wildfire Service expecting gusts up to 50 km/h throughout the southeast region.

“Crews and resources are being positioned strategically to respond to new and emerging incidents,” Wright said.

As of Monday evening, all properties on Upper and Lower Matevic Road and all properties in Sparwood Heights south of Sparwood Heights Drive were under an evacuation alert.

Officials say people in the area should be prepared in case conditions change.

“Stay calm and have your personal belongings packed that you want to take with you that are near and dear to you. Have them at your doorstep,” Sparwood Mayor David Wilks said.

Highway traffic in the area was not being impacted as of Monday evening.

Updates on the situation will be posted on the district’s website and social media pages.

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