Crews attempt controlled burn to limit growth of Keremeos fire
Snowy Mountain wildfire among largest in B.C.
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All original evacuation orders have been rescinded.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.