Fighting fire with fire at Galena Bay

Crews working on the Galena Bay wildfire will use prescribed fire to burn off fuels between the machine-built guard and the fire’s west flank, says a spokeswoman for the Southeast Fire Centre.

“Burning off fuel between the fireline and the fire perimeter reinforces the line and speeds up control efforts,” Gwen Eamer said in a statement released today. “By removing these fuels, crews hope to secure and control this flank of the fire, allowing them to focus their attention on other areas.”

The Galena Bay fires is located three kilometres south of the ferry landing. From being a simple spot fire caused by lightning a few days ago it has ballooned to 277 hectares or 2.77 square kilometres in size. Fortunately, it is moving east away from most roads and structures. Eamer said 19 firefighters are working on this fire, supported by five helicopters, seven pieces of heavy equipment and one water-tender. Heavy machinery operators are currently working to construct a machine guard along the south flank of the fire.

Highway 23 and the Galena Bay ferry remain open to traffic at this time. However, smoke from the fire may affect highway travel. Please call 1-800-550-4997 or visit for more information.

The risk of wildfire across the province has reached a critical level. Every Fire Centre in the province is preparing for increased fire activity. As such, campfires remain banned across the province and the Premier’s Office has asked British Columbians to voluntarily restrict back country activities.

The Fire Danger Rating is high to extreme from Nakusp through Revelstoke to Golden, and all areas north. The danger rating is high in the Boundary, moderate in the West Kootenays and low in the East Kootenays.  The risk of wildfire is expected to increase through the weekend, due to warm and dry conditions.

Firefighters from the Southeast Fire Centre have responded to 271 wildfires since April 1, which together have burned 635 hectares. There are currently 45 active fires in the Fire Centre. For further information, please visit the B.C. Wildfire Management Branch website at