Looking towards Highway 3 west near Ashnola. (Tara Bowie)

Looking towards Highway 3 west near Ashnola. (Tara Bowie)

Update: Size of large fire near Keremeos unknown

Two significant fires are burning in the Lower Similkameen, smoke can be seen as far away as Osoyoos

  • Jul. 19, 2018 12:00 a.m.

Update 4:40 p.m.

It’s unknown just how big the Scully Mountain fire is burning in high elevation south east of Keremeos.

Noelle Kekula, with BC Wildfire Service, is heading up the incident command centre for the Okanagan and Similkameen wildfires.

She said “a collection of fires,’ are burning atop Scully Mountain and a helicopter crew is currently working to map its size.

At this point there is air support actioning the fire, but until it is mapped no ground crews will be sent in.

At last estimate the fire had burned 400 hectares.

Update 1 p.m.

The Placer Mountain fire has tripled in size over the last 24 hours.

The B.C. Wildfire Service is reporting that the fire located in high elevation, west of Cathedral Lake and east of Eastgate, is now 150 hectares in size.

The fire is classified as out of control but not affecting any structures.

Two helicopters and 19 wildfire personnel are actioning the fire.

At this point there is no update available for the large fire burning the North side of Scully Mountain. The fire was last estimated at 400 hectares in size. B.C. Wildfire has not provided information on whether they are actioning or are planning suppression efforts for this fire.

Both fires were caused by lightning.

Related: Complete list of B.C. Interior Wildfire Coverage

Original:

Two significant fires are burning in high elevation backcountry in the Lower Similkameen.

The B.C. Wildfire interactive map shows a 400 hectare fire is currently burning on the North side of Scully Mountain. The fire was first detected July 17 after a lightning storm came through. B.C. Wildfire first dubbed the fire Snowy Protected Area. The fire started as a small spot fire.

It was unknown at the time of this posting if B.C. Wildfire had any crews actioning the fire.

Related: UPDATE: Placer Mountain fire grows to 50 hectares

As of late Wednesday, July 17, the B.C. Wildfire Service was reporting that at least 34 fires were started due to lightning strikes in the Kamloops Fire Centre since the evening hours of Tuesday. Many of those fires are located in the South Okanagan and Similkameen including a large fire near Peachland that has caused evacuations of homes.

Related: Breaking: More evacuation orders for Mount Eneas wildfire, south of Peachland

The other large fire burning in the area is Placer Mountain located in high elevation between Cathedral Park and Eastgate. The fire has reached 50 hectares in size. B.C. Wildfire does have personnel working that fire including helicopters and 33 firefighters.

Several other fires continue to burn in the Lower Similkameen including Gillanders Creek (near the Snowy Protected Area). That fire is still listed at 0.01 hectares in size. A fire named the junction near Ashnola and Similkameen rivers was listed at 0.4 hectares in size. And one kilometer south east of zero-km at Ashnola Campground continues to burn but is small at 0.01 hectares in size.

Readers of the Keremeos Review submitted photos of the smoke taken throughout the evening of July 18, 2018. Smoke from the fires could be seen all over the Similkameen Valley and in Oliver and Osoyoos.

If you have photos or videos of fires or any other breaking news send us a message on our Facebook page or email editor@keremeosreview.com

The Keremeos Review will update this story as more information comes available.

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