KOOTENAY NATIONAL PARK – Cooler temperatures and rain have offered relief for Parks Canada firefighters battling an out-of-control fire in Kootenay National Park.
Justine Renkema, fire communications officer for Lake Louise, Yoho and Kootenay field unit, said growth on the Mitchell Ridge wildfire has slowed and is currently estimated at 259 hectares and the fire is still classified as out-of-control.
“Mitchell Ridge had steady rain, cooler temperatures and lighter winds today, which eased fire behaviour,” she said.
Renkema said full suppression efforts continued on Monday (May 22) with the goal of extinguishment.
She said 24 firefighters from across the mountain parks reinforced containment with hose lines along the south and southwest flanks of the fire, with four helicopters supporting ground crews.
“Cooler temperatures are expected to continue until mid-week before a return to seasonal temperatures,” she said.
The Mitchell Ridge fire was sparked by lightning on the evening of May 17.
The fire is located in an area of southern Kootenay National Park, approximately two kilometres east of the Kootenay Valley viewpoint and seven kms north of Nipika Mountain Resort. The blaze reached the eastern boundary of Kootenay National Park.