The wildfire near Topaz Creek late Aug. 14.

The wildfire near Topaz Creek late Aug. 14.

UPDATED: Crews attacking 600-hectare Topaz Creek fire northwest of Creston

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  • Aug. 15, 2015 8:00 a.m.

Saturday afternoon:

Southeast Fire Centre information officer Fanny Bernard told the Nelson Star that the Mount Midgely fire (previously referred to as the Topaz Creek fire) northeast of Creston has grown from 30 to 600 hectares since it was discovered Friday. A20-person unit crew and air tankers are working on the fire. Bernard told Star reporter Tamara Hynd there is no immediate threat to any structures at this time even though the fire can be seen from homes in the area.

This is one of 46 sparked in the area by lightning since Thursday, the Star reported.


Saturday morning:

A wildfire at Topaz Creek, north of Highway 3 west of Creston and estimated at 30 hectares, is being attacked today.

The fire is “growing vigorously,” Melissa Klassen of the Southeast Fire Centre told the Advance this morning.

Crews are already on the scene, and an aircraft is conducting a reconnaissance flight this morning.

“More resources will be added as necessary,” said Klassen.

Creston Fire Rescue is on alert, said Regional District of Central Kootenay director Larry Binks, adding that the weather has improved somewhat since yesterday.

“It rained from about midnight on, and the temperature’s dropped significantly,” he said this morning.

Southbound Canada-U.S.A. traffic was turned back last night as another fire south of the border caused the evacuation of Porthill last night; the evacuation order has since been lifted and the border has reopened. The Parker Ridge fire, detected July 29 and now estimated at over 785 hectares, jumped the Kootenay River and spread toward the Idaho community.

Creston Fire Rescue’s aerial truck was on standby to help protect the port of entry facilities, and Canyon-Lister Fire Department crews were also on standby; a mutual aid agreement would allow them to cross the border in an emergency.

The units returned to the station in the early morning hours, with no evacuation required for Canyon or Lister.

“Our friends to the south have done a fantastic job at confining the fire to the south of the river,” CLFD Chief Glenn Guthrie wrote on the department’s Facebook page. “There is no evacuation for Canyon or Lister at this time.”