The Island Pond Fire blown up to 650 hectares, according to the BC Government.
Monday afternoon, the BC Wildfire Service had three helicopters, air tankers/water skimmers and heavy equipment on the fire along with 33 personnel on the ground. Crews will work through the night again tonight building fire lines and extending existing ones.
An evacuation alert remains in place for 51 residences between Island Pond and the north end of Premier along with the campground at Premier Lake. The Highway remains open to single lane alternating traffic. Watch for traffic control and expect possible delays between Canal Flats and Skookumchuck.
The White River fire, which is up in the Middle Fork (past Whiteswan / 40km east of Fairmont) continues to generate smoke. It grew to 280 hectares over the weekend, but today the estimated size remains unchanged. They have a fire analyst on site. The Middle Fork Forest Service Road remains closed at the 45.5km mark.
Winds are expected to shift Tuesday and there is the potential for it to be windier right through Tuesday night and into Wednesday. There is a possibility isolated thunderstorms could develop and if they do, the gusting winds could be stronger around those cells. If that is the case, there could be some dry lighting and light showers around the cells, but no real accumulation is expected. The hot, dry conditions are expected to continue for the next few days at least.
The smoky conditions are expected to return tomorrow and possibly the next day. The federal and provincial Ministries of Environment issued an Air Quality advisory today that covers the entire East Kootenay region as air quality may be poor due to both local smoke and smoke being carried in from other parts of BC and northern Washington. The evening inversions may push the smoke into the valley bottoms as well.
The RDEK has opened an information line that they are hoping to staff between 8:30am and 8pm. The number is 250-426-2188 or toll free 1-855-346-2188. All updates will also be posted on the RDEK Facebook page.