Snowy Mtn. winding down

Crews have made steady progress fighting the Snowy Mountain wildfire as the number of resources battling the blaze is significantly reduced. 

On Tuesday there were 33 firefighters and two helicopters at the 13,400-hectare fire. That compares to 97 firefighters and 10 helicopters which were at the fire on Monday.

"Most of the firefighters have gone up towards to Merritt to fight new fires," BC Wildfire Service information officer Bob Cunneyworth said. 

While hundreds of properties in Keremeos and Cawston remain on evacuation alert, there are no longer any properties ordered out; the Lower Similkameen Indian Band rescinded its evacuation orders for Chopaka Road properties on Friday.

Cunneyworth said burn-off operations last week were successful and the fire is burning within its perimeters. 

He added, however, increased fire behaviour could still occur and crews "aren't quite there" in getting the fire fully contained.

Lots of work has been done to burn off fire fuels on the east and southeast flanks, and Cunneyworth said work is being done to establish a fireguard on the fire's northeast flank, near K Mountain.

The Snowy Mountain wildfire is one of two significant wildfires that have been burning in the Similkameen since a thunderstorm rolled through on July 17.

The other, the 2,400-hectare Placer Mountain wildfire, is now considered under control and, as of Sunday, was no longer identified a wildfire "of note," by the wildfire service.

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