British Columbia

B.C. Wildfires 2018: 'extreme' winds pushing Snowy Mountain wildfire south

As B.C. braces for the arrival of international firefighters, two new fires have been sparked near the Snowy Mountain fire near Keremeos and Cawston in the province's Southern Interior.

2 new fires were sparked overnight, but are now considered 'held'

According to the BC Wildfire Service, the fire is currently 3.5 kilometres from the border with the United States. (Anita Bathe/CBC)

As B.C. braces for the arrival of international firefighters, the Snowy Mountain wildfire showed "aggressive fire behaviour" on Friday night, stoked by extreme winds out of the north.

The fire remained to the west of Chopaka Road, and is burning in a southward direction.

According to the BC Wildfire Service, the fire is currently 3.5 kilometres from the border with the United States.

The incident management team is now collaborating with the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, as they anticipate the fire will continue to move southwards.

2 small fires held

Two new fires were sparked overnight near the Snowy Mountain fire near Keremeos and Cawston in the Southern Interior, but are now considered "held" by the BC Wildfire Service.

Highway 3 was temporarily closed in both directions overnight, but has since reopened.

Nicole Bonnett, fire information officer with the Kamloops Fire Centre said the fires are believed to be a result of human activities, and stressed that people in the area remain mindful of activities that could trigger a wildfire.

"Diverting crews away from a natural-caused fire such as a lightning fire to something that was a human-start is obviously not ideal," she said.

Crews looking for any hot spots in the ground, after two small fires were sparked overnight. Both the fires are now considered held. (Anita Bathe/CBC)

International support arriving

An additional 20 Alberta firefighters and 15 from the Northwest Territories arrived on Thursday. Another 20 crew members from Saskatchewan, plus 10 support staff, are expected Sunday.

International help will begin pouring in next week, including 62 firefighters from Mexico, 65 firefighters and support staff from New Zealand, and another 25 support staff from Australia.

  • On Friday night, an evacuation order came into effect for two properties in the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako.
  • In advance of the B.C. Day long weekend, the province is asking people to be extra vigilant in preventing new fires from igniting. "Be careful when you're out in the back country," said Forests Minister Doug Donaldson. "Follow the rules and avoid any activities that could start a wildfire."
  • Campfire bans are in effect across the entire province except in the Prince George Fire Centre.
  • The B.C. Wildfire Service estimates 27 per cent of the 1,260 wildfires in the province since April 1 have been human caused.

Evacuation orders and alerts:

For the latest wildfire information, visit:

B.C. Wildfire Service
Emergency Info B.C.

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