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Risk in Slocan Park wildfire ‘significantly reduced’

The Slocan Park fire is seen Monday evening. Although an evacuation alert will remain in effect until tomorrow, the regional district says the risk to residents is
The Slocan Park fire is seen Monday evening. Although an evacuation alert will remain in effect until tomorrow, the regional district says the risk to residents is 'significantly reduced.'
— image credit: Dan Szabo photo

A wildfire burning east of Slocan Park now poses "significantly less" risk to residents, according to the Regional District of Central Kootenay.

That's thanks to the efforts of the Southeast Fire Centre, which has been battling the blaze all day, the regional district said in a statement.

“Ground crews constructed fire guards today to protect the community, as well as power lines and towers belonging to Telus and Fortis,” said Terry Swan, the RDCK’s regional fire chief.

Although the RDCK is keeping residents on evacuation alert as a precautionary measure until tomorrow morning when it will receive a status update, Swan said the situation has improved greatly. "There was a significant change in the weather today. Everything is looking very good."

The fire is now moving up the mountain and is on the top one-third of the peak.

Today the Southeast Fire Centre dispatched a 30-person ground crew, four helicopters, plus air tanker support. Two pieces of heavy equipment were also being used to build a machine guard between the community and ridge.

A provincial incident management team, which specializes in fires close to communities is expected to assume command of the fire.

The fire was caused by a lightning strike early Saturday afternoon.

An evacuation alert was issued late Monday for 47 homes on or off Highway 6 between the street addresses 2826 and 3024 — from Legendary Meats to the Slocan Valley Co-op.

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