Snowy Mountain wildfire near Keremeos flares up | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Snowy Mountain wildfire near Keremeos flares up

The Cool Creek fire burning near Eastgate in the Similkameen is pictured Friday, Aug. 17, 2018 in this photo submitted by the B.C. Wildfire Service.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/B.C. Wildfire Service
August 20, 2018 - 11:47 AM

PENTICTON - The Snowy Mountain wildfire burning near Keremeos caused some anxious moments for residents this morning.

B.C. Wildfire Service fire information officer Steve Kada says increasing winds overnight caused a flare-up in fire activity that resulted in visible flames on K Mountain. The activity was confined within the fire’s containment lines, however and the fire is still listed as being held.

Kada says crews are working today, Aug. 20, to ensure containment lines are holding and structural protection systems are operational around vulnerable residences.

Reduced visibility hampered airborne efforts to fight the fire over the weekend, but aircraft are back in the air today, Kada says.

The lightning-caused fire, burning since July 17 near Keremeos, has scorched over 133 square kilometres. An evacuation alert is in place for properties in the area.

Two other wildfires of note in the Similkameen continued to burn over the weekend. Kada says the Old Tom Creek wildfire, discovered Aug. 15 around seven km west of Olalla, has grown to 144 ha and is still listed as out of control. Smoky skies prevented aircraft from accessing that fire as well over the weekend, but Kada reports it made a run along its eastern flank that was dealt with by fire crews, who will continue building control lines today.

Kada says B.C. Wildfire has had difficulty tracking progress of the Cool Creek wildfire, which also started Aug. 15 around 20 km east northeast of Eastgate.

The fire is being worked by 25 firefighters, heavy equipment and aircraft when possible. Clearing conditions allowed an aircraft to track the fire late yesterday, which is now 60 square kilometres and classified as out of control.

Evacuation alerts remain in place for areas along the Ashnola Forest Service Road. The fire is considered an interface fire as a small number of recreational properties are in the vicinity.

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