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Heather Lake fire triples in size and burns close to Manning Park

Six trails under evacuation order and other park areas under evacuation alert
Heavy smoke has made it difficult to measure the size of the Heather Lake fire. Photo BC Wildfire

The Heather Lake wildfire more than tripled in size overnight Saturday Sept. 3, according to BC Wildfire.

The fire, which originated in the United States, is now estimated at 1,500 hectares, and is burning approximately 5 km southwest of Manning Park Resort.

Six trails in Manning are closed and under evacuation order, while some other trails and front country campgrounds are under evacuation alert.

“The resort is fully open and operating as normal,” states Manning’s website. “This includes our accommodations, Loon Lagoon, Boathouse, Pinewoods Dining Room, Country Store and full-resort facilities.”

BC Wildfire says the fire is “burning in a highly volatile fuel type and has potential for aggressive fire behaviour.”

The provincial fire service is working with BC Parks and the US Forest Service to fight the blaze.

“While the resort is not immediately threatened, a Structure Protection Unit is working proactively to support the defense of resort facilities,” the service states.

As of Sunday, Sept. 4 there were 24 firefighters, four helicopters and one piece of heavy equipment assigned to the fire, and an Incident Management Team was deployed to the site.

“Smoke, visibility, and topography make estimating the size of the Heather Lake Wildfire challenging. We anticipate an updated fire size as well as details on how much of the fire is burning in Canada by end of day Sept. 4.”

The Heather Lake fire was discovered Aug. 21 and is believed to be caused by lightning. It originated in the Okanagan Wenatchee National Forest, and crossed the border into Manning.

The trails under evacuation order are: Monument 78 Trail (Castle Creek Trail); Monument 83 Trail; Pacific Crest Trail (PCT Camp to Monument 78 Camp); Mt Frosty Loop (Similkameen Trail to Frosty Mt Peak); Windy Joe Trail (Mt Frosty Loop to Windy Joe lookout); Mt Frosty Loop (Lightning Lake Day Use to Frosty Mt Peak).

All trails south of Highway 3 are open, with Lightning Lake Chain Trail, Canyon Nature Trail, Rein Orchid Trail and Skyline I under alert.

Hampton, Lightning Lake, Coldspring, Mule Deer, Headwaters Horse Corral, and Lone Duck 1 and 2 campgrounds are under alert, but operating normally.

A campfire ban is in place for all of Manning Park.

Related: B.C. Wildfire Service warns of multiple out-of-control fires

Related: New lightning-caused wildfire west of Princeton now 111 hectares

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Andrea DeMeer

About the Author: Andrea DeMeer

Andrea is the publisher of the Similkameen Spotlight.
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