UPDATE: Placer Mountain fire in Similkameen Valley grows to 2,336 hectares

BC Wildfire Service continues to work to get blaze under control

UPDATE: 6:30 p.m.

The Placer Mountain fire has grown to 2,336 hectares.

Dangers posed by the fire located 36 kilometers southwest of Keremeos and 37 kilometers south of Princeton forced the evacuation of Cathedral Lakes Lodge earlier in the day Wednesday.

Resources continue to fluctuate on the fire. On Wednesday 116 firefighters, nine helicopters, and 14 pieces of heavy equipment actioned the fire.

“The fire saw growth to the north and west yesterday due to strong winds, personnel have remapped the perimeter (new map available below under “Maps & Photos” link). Ground crews are continuing to mop up in secured areas, and will continue building a fuel free line in the south from the Ashnola River along a scree slope, while personnel work to mop up along the east flank where crews successfully conducted burn offs to remove remaining fuel to reinforce the perimeter. Winds are blowing from the west today, which is serving to push the fire back on itself a bit and into previously burned areas,” a release from BC Wildfire stated.

The fire is now considered an interface fire.

UPDATE: Aug. 1

An Evacuation Order has been issued for Cathedral Lakes Lodge as the Placer Mountain wildfire poses a heightened risk to human safety due to the potential loss of road access.

BC Parks has also closed the entire Cathedral Provincial Park and Protected Area for hiking.

“All guests and hikers within Cathedral Provincial Park are asked to leave the Cathedral Provincial Park area immediately,” states the RDOS Emergency Operations Centre.

“Anyone requiring Emergency Social Services can contact the RDOS Emergency Operations Centre at 250-490- 4225.”

As it stands the Ashnola Forest Service Road remains closed by the Province of BC past the 25 kilometre marker.

The Evacuation Order does not affect additional areas along the Ashnola Forest Service Road including the Cathedral Lakes Lodge basecamp parking area, recreation sites before the 25 kilometre marker, homes near Ewart Creek Road and access to Crater Mountain.

The BC Wildfire Service is reporting the fire is still 1,521 hectares in size and is out of control. The fire is located about 36 kilometers soutwest of Keremeos and 37 kilometres south of Princeton, in high elevation, near Cathedral Park.

A camp fire ban has been declared for the entire Kamloops Fire Centre region including the entire Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.

An advisory evacuation alert has also been placed on properties in the Cawston and Keremeos areas due to the separate Snowy Mountain wildfire.

Related: 481 properties on evacuation alert as Snowy Mountain fire rages

Updated counts this morning show in total 384 property parcels have been placed on alert within the Village of Keremeos and 481 properties in the rural Keremeos and Cawston areas.

These numbers do not include areas within the Lower Similkameen Indian Band also under evacuation alert.

More to come.

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ORIGINAL: July 31

The Placer Mountain Fire burning in the backcountry of the Lower Similkameen grew 500 hectares over the 24 hours.

The BC Wildfire Service is reporting the fire is now 1,521 hectares in size and is out of control. The fire is located about 36 kilometers soutwest of Keremeos and 37 kilometers south of Princeton, in high elevation, near Cathedral Park.

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

Currently 79 firefighters, eight helicopters, five water tenders and nine pieces of heavy equipment are working the fire.

The objectives for Tuesday including continuing to mop up after a planned ignition conducted on Sunday along the northeast of the fire. The ignition’s goal was to burn fuel in the area in a controlled manner.

Crews did not do any burning on Monday. The growth of the fire was on the southwest flank and was natural.

A team is finalizing structural protection at Cathedral Lakes Lodge today (Tuesday). The lodge is currently on an evacuation alert.

The Placer Mountain fire is burning about 36 kilometers directly west of the Snowy Mountain Fire, which is now about 3,050 hectares in size. Both fires were discovered July 17 just after a lightning storm came through the area.

Related: Snowy Mountain fire near Keremeos increases by 1,000 hectares

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