File photo Residents are seeing more smoke from the Cawston wildfire burning on the backside of K-Mountain.

Smoke kicks up on Cawston fire

The fire near Cawston has been burning since Sept. 27.

Blame it on the wind.

Residents in the Lower Similkameen are noticing increased smoke and some flame coming from the fire burning on the mountainside near Cawston.

Jody Lucius, fire information officer for BC Wildfire, said strong winds in the area are responsible for the increase in fire activity but that the fire continues to burn within the guarded area.

“This is not unexpected but crews are continuing to monitor the fire and will respond if required,” she said.

The fire is still estimated to be about 100 hectares in size.

BC Wildfire chose to do a modified response on the fire, meaning there are currently no firefighters working on the mountain but that regular assessments are being undertaken.

It’s not expected to grow out of the prescribed area.

Work was done earlier in the week and late last week to put in guards so that the fire would stay within a certain area.

“What they typically do is determine the area they want it to stay within. They use a guard to contain the fire and sometimes steer it in a certain direction they want it to go. They have trigger points they watch for that show when it might expand into an area they didn’t want it to. At that point they put additional crews on it.”

Lucius said it’s a “very planned approach,” used when there is no risk to the public or structures so that fire load can be reduced.

“These opportunities don’t always come along especially in the Kamloops Fire Centre because it is so populated and you have to have the right conditions. With it being fall there are cooler temperatures.”

The fire was first detected Sept. 27 in the evening. Residents started noticing an orange glow from the mountainside.

RELATED: BC Wildfire assessing Cawston fire

BC Wildfire responded the next morning with seven firefighters who worked to put in place a guard that would hopefully prevent the fire from going any further down the slope. At its peak the fire was listed at 100 hectatres in size.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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