Alberta: Spreading Creek Fire

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The Alberta department of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development posted this video of the Spreading Creek fire. It includes scenes showing a briefing for firefighters, hose lays, sprinklers, fireline construction in heavy timber, helicopter drops, and single engine air tankers. It was uploaded to YouTube on June 11, 2014.

Thanks and a hat tip go out to JW.

Canadian fires continue to rage, “worst fire season in years”

Dry heat is fueling several out of control wildfires in Alberta and British Columbia this week, where fire officials say this is the worst fire season the region has seen since 2003.

There are 156 fires burning in Canada’s Northwest Territories, The Toronto Sun reports.

As of Monday morning, around 11 fires were burning out of control in Alberta, according to the province’s wildfire situation report. Meanwhile, the explosive Spreading Creek fire near Banff National Park, British Columbia, is being held for the first time since lightning ignited it on July 3, The Calgary Herald reported. The fire had burned more than 6,800 hectares (around 16,800 acres) as of July 14.

The fire has intermittently shut down parts of the Icefields Parkway that winds from Banff to Jasper. Photos capturing its spectacular plume of smoke have sparked an international interest in the fire.


While fires spread on both sides of the national park, conditions are no different in BC’s interior, where a fire ignited on Tuesday in tinder-dry country near West Kelowna. The so-called Mount Boucherie fire had burned around 12 acres by Tuesday evening, and was being held by fire retardant lines, local media reported. The fire continued to burn into Tuesday night.

West Kelowna is in a fire-prone corridor known for regular wildfires. In 2003 in nearby Kelowna, lightning ignited the Okanagan Mountain Park fire, which went on to burn hundreds of homes and prompted the largest fire-evacuation in Canadian history.

I’ve spent some time in Kelowna and last year wrote a story about the Okanagan Mountain fire, ten years after the historic blaze. It had some eerie parallels to another wildfire, the Waldo Canyon fire, which I covered while working at The Gazette in Colorado Springs. Read my story on the Okanagan Mountain fire here. 

Wildfire briefing, April 22, 2014

Iowa resident dies while burning brush

Authorities in Iowa have identified a resident who was found by firefighters who responded to a brush fire on April 20 in Delaware County, about 40 miles northeast of Cedar Rapids.

From The Gazette:

…A Tuesday news release said Generose (Genny) Bennett, 78, of Oneida was apparently burning brush Sunday afternoon when the fire got out of control.

The update comes after the Greeley Fire Department responded to a cornfield fire in Oneida on Sunday at 2:11 p.m., where they discovered a body in the field.

Wildfire contained in Shenandoah National Park

WHSV described the size of the fire:

A wildfire in Shenandoah National Park is now down to 22 acres, after already burning 50 acres inside the park.

Burned bridge in Alberta back in service after burning on Sunday