Fuel burn-off planned at fire

The BC Wildfire Service is advising the public a "small scale planned ignition" is taking place at the Snowy Mountain wildfire this afternoon, which will be visible nearby.

The burn-off will happen on the fire's northeast flank which will "tie the fire perimeter in to a natural control line."

"It will be visible from the communities of Keremeos and Cawston, as well as to anyone travelling along Highway 3," the BCWS said in its incident update on Friday.

Fire information officer Noelle Kekula adds the base camp is in the process of moving from Keremeos to Princeton. About 250 firefighters and support staff are staying at the base camp.

"It made sense to have the camp in Princeton because of the location to both (the Snowy Mountain and Placer Mountain fires)," Kekula says. "The Placer Mountain fire... is being held, so our focus right now is on Snowy."

The fire remains mapped at 12,219 hectares, and was last estimated to be 40 per cent contained on Thursday. Currently there are 105 firefighters and three pieces of heavy equipment on the fire, as well as 10 helicopters being used at both the Snowy Mountain and Placer Mountain wildfires.

On top of difficult terrain, crews at the fire have had to contend with rattlesnakes, as well as rocks and rolling debris. 

Winds in the Similkameen today are forecasted to be between 10 to 15 kilometres per hour, with gusts of up to 25 km/h this evening. 

The BCWS notes, however, a thunderstorm expected late this evening could bring wind gusts of up to 60 km/h.

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