The Snowy Mountain fire is holding at about 11,000 hectares, thanks to cooler temperatures and rain. Photo courtesy BC Wildfire

Snowy Mountain wildfire holding size in southern B.C.

Calm night for major fires in the Similkameen Valley

A bit of rain and cooler temperatures yesterday and overnight are helping slow the spread of two major wildfires in the Similkameen.

“We’ve seen some challenges in the past few days, but thankfully we received some spotty precipitation on the north and the east flanks of the Snowy Mountain fire yesterday. There was no additional growth to the fire last night,” said Claire Allen, BC Wildfire information officer, adding that winds also let up overnight. “It was certainly a calmer night than we had been seeing in preceding evenings.”

Related: Keremeos firefighters working night patrols as Snowy Mountain fire rains ash, embers

The Snowy Mountain Fire is estimated at 10,911 hectares, and the nearby Placer Mountain fire is estimated at 2,372 hectares. Both are considered active fires.

Related: Update: Structures still at risk from Snowy Mountain fire

The Placer Mountain fire also got a bit of rain, but Allen said it was spotty, with some area getting just a few drops and other areas up to seven millimetres. But, she explained, it helped.

“There was certainly some good precipitation across there and, in conjunction with the excellent progress crews have been making on the fire, we are up to 90 per cent containment on that fire (Placer Mountain),” she said.

Allen said there isn’t a containment figure for the Snowy Mountain fire, but crews continue to work on them.

“Containment lines are being built, but certainly they have been challenged over the last few nights; thankfully nothing last night,” said Allen.

Crews are mainly working on the south and southeast flanks of the Snowy Mountain fire, where the fire is threatening properties across the Similkameen River. Other crews are working on strengthening perimeter lines on the northern parts of the fire, trying to prevent the fire from wrapping around the slopes and further threatening Keremeos, Cawston and other communities in the area.

“Anytime we have those winds from the south, Cawston and Keremeos are seeing more smoke blowing into their communities,” said Allen.

BC Wildfire reports there are 80 firefighters, along with three helicopters and four pieces of heavy equipment working on the Snowy Mountain fire.

Related: Similkameen grassfire put out within ‘a stones throw’ from homes


Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
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