A view of Mt. Ida.

Mt. Ida fire under control

Investigation: Wildfire believed to be caused by human activity.

A 0.5-hectare wildfire on the south side of Mt. Ida north of Haines Creek was in the mop up stage and under investigation.

Fire information officer Kelsey Winter says the wildfire was reported at 4 p.m. Monday, June 22 and, despite initial reports of a lightning strike, is believed to be human-caused.

A three-person rappel crew, a 20-person unit crew and tankers responded quickly.

At 12:30 p.m. today, June 23, a guard had been established around the fire and a 20-person unit crew, a bulldozer, an excavator and two water tenders were fighting the fire.

“They were getting rain in the south end of the zone in the morning and there’s a chance for Salmon Arm to get some in the afternoon,” said Winter, hoping for precipitation to help quell the blaze. Unfortunately the Environment Canada forecast also included the possibility of a thunderstorm.

With Salmon Arm already in high fire danger rating, the forecast for the next seven days, at least, is for dry and very hot conditions. Winter said that without precipitation, the fire danger rating would reach extreme by the weekend.

Environment Canada meteorologist Lisa Coldwells says the intense ridge of high pressure is building from the deserts of Arizona and Nevada. She says temperatures in the Salmon Arm area will top out about 37C to 38C this weekend and will “be flirting with records.”

“On June 28 we’re forecasting 37C and the record is 35.6 set in 1937,” she says.

In the meantime, Winter advises extreme caution and says a campfire ban by the weekend is a possibility.

“The more we see abandoned fires, the more likely it is a campfire ban will be put into effect, she says, noting several factors are taken into account when effecting a ban.

To report a wildfire, call 1-800-663-5555 or dial *5555 on a cell phone.Mt. Ida fire under control

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