New Wap Creek wildfire at 240 hectares, blankets Revelstoke with smoke

New 240-hectare wildfire at Wap Creek sends smoke, ash, burnt needles onto the Revelstoke area on July 14. Officials suspect it is human-caused.

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This photo taken from a canoe in the Columbia River near the Revelstoke Airport on July 14 shows smoke from the Wap Creek fire flaring to the southwest of Revelstoke. Photo: Contributed by Michael Watson

Blackened evergreen needles and ash sprinkled onto Revelstoke and an ever-thickening cloud of smoke tinted the sunset with an orange glow on Wednesday, both caused by a new 240-hectare  wildfire located about 25 kilometres southwest of Revelstoke.

B.C. Wildfire Service is calling the wildfire the Wap Creek fire. It was discovered today, Wednesday, July 14, and a statement from the wildfire service says they suspect it is human-caused.

The fire is listed as out of control.

The fire from the air

In this July 14 aerial photo from the B.C. Wildfire Service, the Wap Creek fire southwest of Revelstoke kicks off a plume of smoke. Photo: B.C. Wildfire Service

Ash, needles and smoke

Mountaineer reader Michael Watson found this piece of ash in his yard in Revelstoke. Photo: Contributed by Michael Watson

In a brief statement, B.C. Wildfire Service said that the fire is under investigation.

Wildfire smoke creates a red glow as the sun sets on Revelstoke on July 14, a day when ash chunks and burnt needles rained down on the city. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine

More to come

The Wap Creek area is fairly well known to backcountry enthusiasts in Revelstoke. The Wap Lake Forest Service Road branches off the Trans-Canada Highway just west of Revelstoke, proving access to the backcountry in the area.

We’ll update on this wildfire in the coming days, and the investigation into the cause.