UPDATE: Snowy Mountain fire near Keremeos burns vigorously

The high elevation fire near Keremeos holds at 1,910 hectares

UPDATE: 8:37 p.m.

The Snow Mountain fire is displaying active fire behaviour and currently burning at a rank 5/6 — extremely vigorous surface fire or active crown fire in some areas.

The blaze is currently burning northwest away from the community of Cawston.

According to BC Wildfire the limited options available to fight the blaze, include indirect attack and planned ignitions to remove fuel in the path of this type of fire behaviour.

Ground operations are often restricted to fighting the least active sections of the fire or conducting ground ignition operations from secure control lines with readily available escape routes and safety zones.

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The high elevation Snowy Mountain Fire, about 14 kilometres south of Keremeos, is holding at 1,910 hectares.

BC Wildfire Crews began actioning the fire Sunday, after it had been burning in high elevation in the Snowy Protected Area for close to two weeks.

Related: Snowy Mountain fire grows to 1,360 hectares in size

Twenty-one firefighters and three helicopters are actioning the fire. Heavy equipment is expected to arrive today.

“Crews will continue to bucket as required to slow the fire in the sub-alpine pass. Crews will establish a fuel free handline to the gully on the north flank, tying into the retardant drop of July 29, 2018. Helipads are being established on the ridge along the control line. Relay tanks will also be positioned along the control line for mop-up. Hand ignitions are planned for today when, and if, conditions are favourable,” a release from BC Wildfire stated.

Two properties on Chopaka Road (1050, 1101) located in Area B were issued an evacuation alert from the Regional District Okanagan Similkameen Sunday. The alert is issued to give residents time to prepare if they need to be evacuated.

Related: Chopaka properties placed on evacuation alert due to Snowy Mountain fire

As a result of the fire burning in Snowy protected area, BC Parks has closed the Ewart and Wall Creek trails pending further assessment.

The Snowy Mountain fire is burning about 36 kilometers directly east of the Placer Mountain Fire, which is now about 1,017 hectares in size. Both fires were discovered July 17 just after a lightning storm came through the area.

Related: BC Wildfire successfully ignites fuels near Placer Mountain Fire in Similkameen

We will continue to update this story as more information comes available.

 

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