So hot it’s smokin’!

By David F. Rooney

Well, the headline IS a little deceptive. It is smokey out there and it is getting hotter but the two are not really directly related. Still, it might have felt appropriate if you were sweating away this morning and saw the wall of smoke beginning to pour over and through Eagle Pass at about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

According to Gwendolen Eamer at the Southeast Fire Centre in Castlegar, the smoke is probably from the fires near Kelowna and perhaps from three small fires north and west of Salmon Arm. There are no fires in the Revelstoke area, she said.

Of course, that could change. Our local weather conditions are supposed to remain pretty hot and dry with temperatures in the mid-30s and a chance of thunderstorms through until Monday. The fire danger in the southeast region is rated as moderate to high, “with a large area of extreme from Nakusp to north of Revelstoke,” says information posted on the BC Widfire website at

This affects us all in one way or another — campfires are banned and so are fireworks, which kills the 2009 Homecoming fireworks show that had been planned for Centennial Park this evening, as well as the Old Fashioned Wiener Roast at the BC Interior Forestry Museum on Friday.

Meanwhile, crews from the Southeast Fire Centre have responded to 113 wildfires since April 1, which together have burned 230 hectares.

Almost half of all fires in B.C. are reported by the public. If you see smoke or flames, please call 1-800-663-5555 or dial *5555 on most cellular networks. For further information, visit the B.C. Wildfire Management Branch website at