Galena Bay Fire crews expand containment lines

This sign on Highway 23S near Begbie Road says it all. David F. Rooney photo
This sign on Highway 23S near Big Eddy Road says it all. David F. Rooney photo

Crews working on the Galena Bay fire continue to expand containment lines, concentrating on the fire’s west flank, says a statement from the Southeast Fire Centre.

“Fire officials aim to contain part of that area today,” spokeswoman Gwen Eamer said in the statement. “Crews are using heavy machinery to consolidate a fuel-free line extending south from Payne Creek. Crews are also improving access to Halcyon Ridge, south of the fire, to allow heavy machinery operators to construct fire guards in that area.”

There are currently 30 firefighters working to contain the fire, supported by six officers, four helicopters and eight heavy equipment machines. An Incident Management Team and additional resources are en route.

The fire currently covers an area approximately 1,200 hectares in size. Fire officials plan to use prescribed fire to burn from established containment lines in order to remove forest fuels and slow the fire’s progression. The fire’s size is therefore expected to grow as crews work to contain it.

The Ministry of Forests and Range has closed the Halfway River and Saint Leon Forest Service roads to protect public safety and facilitate fire management activities, the statement said..

An evacuation alert issued by the Regional District of the Central Kootenay and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District remains in place for the Halcyon Hot Springs area. For more information please contact the Emergency Operations Centre at 250-352-7701.

Smoke from the Galena Bay fire is visible across the region. The fire may affect travel along Highway 23 and 31. The public is asked to contact the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure at or call 1-800-550-4997 before travelling in the area.

The public reports more than half of all wildfires. The statement asked the public to continue to report smoke or flames by calling the toll-free emergency line at 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on most mobile networks. For further information, please visit the B.C. Wildfire Management Branch website at, or call 1-888-3FOREST.