British Columbia

B.C. Wildfires 2018: Similkameen's Snowy Mountain blaze now largest in the province

Winds are now blowing the 66-square kilometre wildfire away from the towns of Keremeos and Cawston. Navigate the CBC's interactive map for the full wildfire picture across the province.

Flames from 66-square kilometre fire visible from Keremeos and Cawston

The Snowy Mountain wildfire in the Similkameen is currently the largest in B.C. at over 6,600 hectares. (B.C. Wildfire Service)

The Snowy Mountain wildfire visible from Keremeos and Cawston, B.C., is now the largest in the province at more than 6,600 hectares (66 square kilometres) in size.

The B.C. Wildfire Service says the fire was active overnight, moving into steep terrain that is dangerous and inoperable for crews. 

A precautionary evacuation order has been recommended for five properties within the Lower Similkameen Indian Band jurisdiction.

Cawston resident Guy Villecourt was worried about his cedar hedge catching fire from floating embers, but the situation improved overnight with winds from the north blowing the smoke and flames away from town.

"We got lucky," he said. "The winds shifted and pushed the fire to the south."

The Snowy Mountain fire is listed as zero per cent contained.

Placer Mountain wildfire

Meanwhile, the Placer Mountain wildfire that forced the evacuation of Cathedral Lakes Lodge for a second straight year has grown to more than 2,300 hectares (23 square kilometres), but winds are starting to push the flames back toward areas that have already burned.

Crews have built a "fuel free" line on the south flank of the fire to help contain the blaze, which is still classified as out of control.

Slightly cooler temperatures and a chance of showers over the next few days are expected to help the situation.

The Placer Mountain fire has forced the evacuation of the Catherdral Lakes Lodge for a second straight years and is considered out of control. (B.C. Wildfire Service)
  • There are currently 11 wildfires of note burning in the province which either are highly visible or pose a threat to public safety.
  • Wildfires in the Kootenays have closed Hwy. 93 between Radium Hot Springs, B.C., and Castle Junction, Alta.

  • The B.C. Wildfire Service says there has been an uptick in wildfire activity and Environment Canada reported over 30,000 lightning strikes across the province last night. 
  • 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 forest minister Doug Donaldson. "Follow the rules and avoid any activities that could start a wildfire."
  • The B.C. Wildfire Service estimates 27 per cent of the 1,260 wildfires in the province since April 1 have been human caused.

Current evacuation alerts and orders: 

For the latest wildfire information, visit:

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

With files from Yvette Brend

Read more from CBC British Columbia


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