Winter tightens grip on fire

The Diamond Creek wildfire burning between Manning and Cathedral Provincial Parks will likely smoulder well into winter, as wildfire crews hang back and let the massive blaze burn itself out.

“It’s been very cold at night, with snow on some areas of the fire and it's doing exactly what we expected and wanted it to do,” fire information officer Heather Rice said.

The fire is seeing a “very slow” rate of spread, Rice said, now across 12,450 hectares of B.C. soil.

The fire jumped the border from Washington State on Aug. 29, forcing the closure of Cathedral Provincial Park.

“After many conversations with B.C. Wildfire Services and coming to terms with this fire not going away anytime soon, we have decided that the lodge will not be reopening again this season,” the Cathedral Lakes Lodge wrote in a Facebook post Wednesday.

“It is so unfortunate to have to do this, but the park will most likely remain closed for the remainder of the season.”

An area restriction also remains in effect around the fire, in backcountry frequented for hiking, hunting and fishing. Because crews are not actively fighting the fire and have not achieved any containment, Rice said it is likely the fire will burn for some time.

“We know that there are many visitors to the area, so we want to make sure they are aware that there is an active fire down there,” she said.

“Bigger fires take longer to call out,” she said. “But that said, where this fire is, the parts in higher elevations are getting snow.”

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