As winds kick up the Harrop Creek wildfire, northeast of Nelson, 486 homes have been put under an evacuation alert.
The 2,532 hectare wildfire was started by lightning on July 27, and has been burning in steep, complex terrain since then.
Recently, winds have increased the fire's behaviour, causing the Regional District of Central Kootenay to issue the alert for the communities of Harrop, Procter, Sunshine Bay and Kootenay Lake Village.
The fire is still believed to be about 10 kilometres from these communities, although flames and smoke from the blaze are visible from Highway 3A and the affected homes.
In the event of an evacuation order, the only exit route from the communities uses a single cable ferry.
“In the event of an evacuation order, the ferry would be restricted to vehicles and passengers only, due to limited time and ferry capacity,” the RDCK notice reads. “Absolutely no trailers will be allowed.”
The RDCK recommends residents with livestock, trailers and boats relocate these while they are under the alert, as they will not be able to if an order is put in place.
Wednesday night, the fire grew on the east flank, and has now entered the Narrow Creek drainage.