Octopus fire holding at 352 hectares
By: Dave Whitfield
| Posted: Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 06:00 am
Forest fire smoke which has been present in Bow Valley skies for days now may well continue as a fire on Octopus Mountain in Kootenay National Park, and others in the B.C. Interior and northern U.S., continue to burn.
Smoke was quite heavy in the atmosphere on Tuesday (Aug. 21), but was somewhat diminished by Wednesday morning. That change, said Fire Communications Officer Dani McIntosh, is the result of reduced winds in the Octopus Mountain area.
The fire, which started on Aug. 12, likely as the result of a thunderstorm, has grown from 50 hectares to 352 as of Wednesday. Two Parks Canada fire crews, eight personnel, are on standby, and have limited firefighting activity to dropping some buckets of water by helicopter.
“The crews say it’s the largest fire they’ve seen since 2003,” said McIntosh. “Right now, we’re not anticipating any growth in the fire, and there hasn’t been any growth in the past 24 hours, but we are continuing to monitor it. And the weather is expected to be cooler, with limited wind and one to three millimetres of rain, in the next few days.”
The fire, she said, is not threatening any structures or people.
Further, she said, management of the fire, conducted by Parks Canada, B.C. Parks and the B.C. Wildlife Branch, “meets ecological objectives for fire management. It’s in a really good spot, so we’re letting it play out on the landscape.
“Smoke in the Bow Valley is from this fire and from others outside the national parks in southern B.C. and in the north United States.”
Any fires should be reported to Banff dispatch at 403-762-1470.