NASA timelapse of the growth of the Diamond Creek wildfire.

Cross-border wildfire continues to burn

The Diamond Creek fire is ravaging backcountry on both sides of the border

The BC Wildfire Service is working this morning to assess the massive Diamond Creek wildfire that crossed the Canadian border overnight Tuesday.

At current estimates, the fire is more than 21,000 hectares in size in the U.S., with 1,700 hectares of backcountry burning on the Canadian side of the border.

The Canadian entry point is right near Border Lake, a small lake about 70 kilometres west of Osoyoos.

Related: Massive US fire crosses into Canada

Fire information officer for BC Wildfire Service Justine Hunse says the nearest B.C. community is called Eastgate, a small cabin community in Manning Provincial Park. Eastgate is currently 17 kilometres northwest of the fire.

Hunse says that at this moment the fire is not threatening that community and there are no structures immediately at risk.

Officials believe the fire is moving in a northeast direction and that the fire is still showing aggressive fire behaviour, ranked as a four or five out of six.

B.C. firefighters are still assessing the situation and developing a plan of how to best fight the Canadian end of the fire.

“The wildfire crossed into Canada sometime after nightfall Tuesday night,” explains Hunse.

“Yesterday the BC Wildfire Service flew the area via helicopter to assess fire activity and the area. We are estimating the fire to burning on 1,700 hectares of Canadian soil.”

While the fire is just burning in the backcountry, the government closed Cathedral Park on Wednesday due to public-safety concerns.

Related: Massive cross-border wildfire growing rapidly

Hunse explains that the fire was first reported on July 23, 2017 approximately 10-km south of the Canadian border. The fire is believed to be human caused.

“Since the fire was discovered, the BC Wildfire Service has been in regular communication with U.S. Firefighting officials, that included several flights to monitor and assess the potential of it crossing in to Canada,” says Hunse.

“With high fire-danger rating and the persistent hot and dry conditions that we have seen in recent days, activity on that fire grew significantly. We saw it make a fast run two nights ago when it crossed in to Canada.”

More information is expected later today.

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@carmenweld
carmen.weld@bpdigital.ca

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USFS/Mike Liu Photos

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