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NCC closes Darkwoods due to Blazed Creek wildfire

Cultus Creek inside the boundaries of Darkwoods. — Photo by Tim Ennis/NCC

In a media release Tuesday, The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) said all public access to its Darkwoods Conservation Area located in the mountains east of Ymir and west of Creston is closed due to a large wildfire on its southern border.

The lightning caused Blazed Creek Fire, which is burning in close proximity to Highway 3 approximately 20 kilometers northwest of Creston, has expanded to over 5,000 hectares as of Tuesday August 14, according to the BC Wildfire Service. 

NCC said boat access to Tye along the shore of Kootenay Lake is still permitted, but people should be ready to evacuate if the fire situation worsens. NCC said no vehicle access into Darkwoods is allowed at this time. 

Currently three firefighters with the assistance of one helicopter and five pieces of heavy machinery are fighting the fire.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada purchased Darkwoods in 2008 from Pluto Darkwoods Forestry Corporation. This acquisition remains the single largest private land purchase for conservation in Canadian history. Since securing Darkwoods, we have completed an extensive ecological baseline inventory of the property, which then informed its Property Management Plan.

Darkwoods continues to be one of the most active projects for the NCC, with ongoing conservation research and a long list of stewardship activities throughout the summer.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada encourages all people travelling through BC to please be vigilant with all ignition sources and respect any closures that may be imposed due to wildfires or fire danger. 

A travel advisory is in effect for possible sudden highway closures due to wildfire activity. Check DriveBC for the latest Highway 3 information. For any questions regarding this access closure please contact NCC’s Canadian Rockies Program Office at 250-342-5521.