Massive Washington state wildfire jumps into B.C. between Manning and Cathedral Parks

Massive Washington state wildfire jumps into B.C. between Manning and Cathedral Parks

31 August 2017

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USA / Canada –  A Washington state wildfire that’s been estimated at a size of over 20,000 hectares, jumped the border into B.C. on Thursday, after reports of having done the same on Wednesday, in a different location.

The Diamond Creek wildfire, which is believed to be human-caused, crossed from the U.S. into Canada between Cathedral and Manning Provincial Parks, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) said Thursday.

Its total size has been measured at 21,319 hectares (52,681 acres) but its size in Canada is estimated at 1,700 hectares, although U.S. officials say it’s burning at more than 1,900 hectares north of the border.

The fire had earlier entered B.C. in the vicinity of Border Lake, about 70 kilometres west of Osoyoos, on Wednesday.

Cathedral Provincial Park, southwest of Keremeos, was closed over safety concerns due to the fire. The park will remain closed until further notice, depending on how the wildfire situation unfolds.

“This is not a normal fire,” fire information officer Jody Lucius told Global News.

The fire is moving quickly north and displaying rank 4 and 5 behaviour.

The fire first sparked up in the Paysayten Wilderness of Washington state on July 23, about 10 kilometres south of the Canada-U.S. border.

People are now advised to steer clear of the backcountry between Manning and Cathedral Provincial Parks, as well as south of Placer Mountain, while the fire continues to burn.

No structures or private property are at immediate risk at this time, said the RDOS.

The BC Wildfire Service is in regular contact with firefighting officials down south.

Several flights have been made to assess the fire’s potential for crossing into the Great White North.

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