UPDATE: Placer Mountain fire grows to 50 hectares

One fire was extinguished and another reported after lightning came through area

Update 5:00 p.m.

The Placer Mountain fire burning west of Keremeos near Cathedral Park has grown to 50 hectares in size.

Nicole Bonnett, fire information officer, said crews are working to put out the growing fire.

“We have helicopters on scene and 33 personnel working the wildfire,” she said.

Bonnett said residents of Keremeos and surrounding communities might be seeing smoke from this fire or the several others burning in the area.

Smoke started to be visible in the Keremeos area late in the afternoon Wednesday.

“We do have aircraft in the area and they are monitoring the fires,” she said.

Bonnett said at this point B.C. Wildfire crews are not working on the other three fires in the Lower Similkameen. They are all considered spot fires and are small in nature and no structures are at risk. She said crews from outside the fire centre might be sent to those fires as they arrive in the area.

“We are aware they area burnin,g but we don’t have crew out on them yet. We’re bringing in resources from outside the fire centre and assigning them as they come in to some of the incidents,” she said.

The three spot fires are: a fire about one-kilometer south east of Ashnola Campground, Snowy Protected Area and Gillanders Creek. All are listed as being caused by lightning.

ORIGINAL:

One of the four fires started during a lightning storm Tuesday night has been extinguished, but another fire in the Lower Similkameen was reported sometime overnight.

Nicole Bonnett of the B.C. Wildfire Service confirmed the Olalla Creek fire is listed as extinguished.

The fire was small in size at 0.01 hectares. Bonnett did not know at the time of this posting if B.C. Wildfire had to action the fire or if it extinguished by itself.

The Snowy Protected Area fire is still listed as active at 0.01 hectares. Lightning is listed as the cause.

Related: UPDATE: Several fires burning in Lower Similkameen

A fire about one-kilometer south east of Ashnola Campground was previously recorded as the Paul Creek fire. The fire is listed at 0.01 hectares and caused by lightning.

The Placer Mountain fire is the farthest burning from Keremeos, high up in the back country just west of Cathedral Park and east of Eastgate. The fire is listed at 1.1 hectares and the cause is listed as lightning.

The new fire dubbed Gillanders Creek is located just east of the Snowy Protected Area fire also burning in high back country elevation. The fire is listed at about a hectare in size and caused by lightning.

At last update 22 fires were started by lightning in the Kamloops Fire Centre on Tuesday evening with the majority in the South Okanagan and Similkameen.

Related: Summerland wildfire grows to 50 hectares

“We are responding the fires and allocating resources based on what the behaviour is doing and making sure we have adequate resources out at the fires,” said Nicole Bonnett, fire information officer.

B.C. Wildfire has air tankers, helicopter, repel crews and other resources deployed to the fires and additional resources are coming in from around the province.

“We are aware of the 22 fires that are currently burning and we are responding,” she said

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A photo of a fire burning near Olalla Creek Tuesday, July 17. The fire has since been extinguished. (Submitted)

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