Crews at­tempt con­trolled burn to limit growth of Kere­meos fire

Snowy Moun­tain wild­fire among largest in B.C.

Penticton Herald - - OKANAGAN - By MONIQUE TAMMINGA

Peo­ple in Kere­meos and Caw­ston were ex­pected to see a lot of smoke on Fri­day af­ter­noon while the BC Wild­fire Ser­vice con­ducted a con­trolled burn on the outof-con­trol Snowy Moun­tain fire.

Fire­fight­ers were ex­pected to try a small-scale burn-off to tie the fire perime­ter to a nat­u­ral con­trol line, said a note on the BC Wild­fire Ser­vice web­site.

The plan was to ig­nite the con­trolled burn along the up­per slope of the north­east flank of the fire perime­ter. The smoke would be vis­i­ble to any­one trav­el­ling along High­way 3, they said.

The move came as crews brace for gusty winds, pos­si­ble light­ning and po­ten­tial rain this week­end as a cold front re­places a stub­born heat wave.

The Snowy Moun­tain wild­fire is one of the big­gest in B.C., now 12,209 hectares in size. It has grown around 200 hectares in size since Thurs­day night.

Lee McFadyen lives about 17 kilo­me­tres from the fire and is sep­a­rated from it by the Sim­ilka­meen River. She has been anx­iously watch­ing the moun­tain burn.

She wanted to com­mend all the fire­fight­ers who have worked so hard on this stub­born blaze.

“No homes have been lost in one of the big­gest fires burn­ing in B.C. I think that is a huge ac­com­plish­ment,” said McFadyen. “We thank them for all their hard work.”

Ac­cord­ing to BC Wild­fire Ser­vice in­for­ma­tion com­man­der Claire Allen, the fire re­mains to the west of Chopaka Road, but is burn­ing in a south­ward di­rec­tion ap­prox­i­mately three kilo­me­tres from the U.S. bor­der.

There are 106 fire­fight­ers and seven pieces of heavy equip­ment on scene. Eleven he­li­copters are work­ing on this fire and the Placer Moun­tain fire nearby. The Placer Moun­tain fire is more than 90 per cent con­tained.

All orig­i­nal evac­u­a­tion or­ders have been re­scinded.

In ad­di­tion to the flames and smoke, fire­fight­ers face steep ter­rain, ex­treme heat and rat­tlesnakes.

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