Helicopter used to battle Snowy Mountain blaze

Helicopter used to battle Snowy Mountain blaze

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Aerial photo of the Placer Mountain wildfire south of Princeton. (BC Wildfire Service)

A helicopter has been deployed to help battle an out of control wildfire on Snowy Mountain west of Osoyoos.

The lightning-caused blaze is burning at 1,530 hectares roughly 14 km south of Keremeos.

The helicopter is carrying buckets of water to the sub-alpine of the mountain to cool hot spots and prevent fire spread into adjacent drainages, BC Wildfire Service said.

There are currently no firefighters on scene due to the remote location of the fire and inaccessibility, but a remote camera has been set up and is providing real-time imaging to BC Wildfire Service.

Further west, effective noon today, there will be an area restriction order for Crown land in the vicinity of the Placer Mountain fire near Princeton to protect public safety and the safety of firefighting personnel.

The restriction will remain until noon on Sept. 15, or when the order is otherwise rescinded.

This order applies to Crown land within the geographic boundaries as shown on the map posted online: http://ow.ly/psS730l9Wf9

Under this order, and section 11(2) of the Wildfire Act, a person must not remain in or enter the restricted area without the prior written authorization of an official designated for the purposes of the Wildfire Act, unless the person:

Enters the area only in the course of:

  • Travelling to or from his or her primary residence, that is not under an evacuation order;
  • Travelling to or from leased property for the purposes of accessing a secondary residence or recreational property, that is not under an evacuation order;
  • Travelling as a person acting in an official capacity; or
  • Travelling for the purpose of supporting wildfire suppression activities.

The lightning-caused fire is currently burning at 828 hectares 37 kilometres south of Princeton.

There are currently 99 firefighters, seven helicopters and 12 pieces of heavy equipment battling the blaze.

Crews are clearing road access with heavy equipment and establishing three metre wetlines. Crews will remove green islands of unburned fuels as necessary and additional firefighters will then mop up.

Heavy equipment will be used to establish fuel free line from Ashnola to McBride Creek scree slope (a slope covered with small loose stones). Using tenders, crews will mop-up along the top treeline/regeneration area.

An evacuation alert is being finalized for Cathedral Park Lodge and access routes within the vicinity.

This map shows the area restriction for the Placer Mountain fire, effective July 28. (BC Wildfire Service)

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