Cool Creek fire near Princeton grows to 6,900 hectares

The Cool Creek fire is threatening recreational homes in high elevation north west of Cathedral

The Cool Creek fire burning 27 km southeast Princeton (30 kilometres west of Keremeos) is estimated at 6,900 hectares in size and is burning out of control.

Crews are keeping a close eye on weather changes that could increase fire activity.

“The potential for aggressive fire behavior exists and may be difficult to see until nearby. Crews should be aware of conditions if smoke starts to lift. If smoke lifts fire behavior may intensify. Gusty conditions may occur today and could cause fast rates of spread in all fuel types and spotting,” stated a BC Wildfire news bulletin.

Firefighters were on the ground Tuesday, supported by heavy equipment, and air support.

Related: Snowy Mountain wildfire looks terrifying as it lights up K-Mountain

The blaze was discovered Wednesday, August 15, but two days later it became aggressive and merged with two other fires in the area, according to fire information officer Steve Kada.

“There was a limited initial response due to the fire burning in an isolated area with no priority values at risk and no opportunity for heavy equipment resources to be deployed. The steep terrain is inoperable in some areas, and poses a safety risk to firefighting personnel.”

Friday the fire exhibited “extreme behaviour,” he said, and evacuation alerts were issued Friday and Saturday south of Keremeos, Hedley and Princeton, and along the south side of Highway 3 towards Eastgate.

The fire is classed as “interface,” meaning it is burning wildland while threatening structures.

Kada said there is a small number of remote, recreational cabins in the vicinity of the blaze.

“Our structural protection team has made sure there is no one in there.”

Given the problems with accessing the fire Kada said the service may consider a serious of planned ignitions in order “to push” the blaze in directions that easier to manage.

Related: Blaze near Olalla grows to 527 hectares

Check back for updates.

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