Winds kick up wildfire

UPDATE 5:15 p.m.

Fire information officer Ryan Turcot says they expected an increase in fire activity this afternoon due to higher temperatures and winds.

However, due to the extremely rugged and steep terrain where the fire is burning, crews are in a modified response.

That means crews are hanging back and monitoring the fire rather than actively attacking it. Turcot said the fire is still burning well away from any structures, mostly up the mountain.

UPDATE 4:25 p.m.

The wildfire burning west of Cawston above the Similkameen River has grown considerably in the last few hours.

Strong winds have pushed the flames down the slope 200-300 feet today, estimated a nearby resident.

“As well as going up, and the wind is shifting… I’m watching the trees candle now,” she said late Friday afternoon. “I sure hope that there is some water in those clouds."

Another resident said he suspects the fire has grown tenfold in the last two hours.

The fire is burning on the east slope of K Mountain and is currently well away from structures. Around lunchtime Friday, the B.C. Wildfire Service said they had a team of three building guard at the base of the fire.

The BCWS could not be immediately reached for comment Friday afternoon.


Three firefighters with the B.C. Wildfire Service are tending to a three hectare blaze west of Cawston.

Fire information officer Justine Hunse said Friday afternoon the crew is working to establish a guard along the base of the fire, as it burns slowly up the east slope of K Mountain above the Similkameen River. 

The firefighters did a number of small hand ignitions Thursday, but no large back burning is taking place.

The fire has been difficult to attack due to the rugged and steep terrain it is burning on. As a result, smoke will continue to be visible from surrounding communities for the next few days.

Hunse added that crews are now mopping up the Fairview Rd. fire, which sparked on Tuesday and burnt 30 hectares.

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