Apex Mountain Snow Cannons Ready to Fight Wildfires

Snow cannons at the Apex Mountain Ski Resort are primed and ready if needed to fight the Keremeos Creek Wildfire.

Apex Mountain Resort general manager James Shalman said they are currently setting up their snow cannons in strategic locations and are ready to leave if the fire approaches the ski village.

“Snow machines can throw water 150 feet and they wobble,” Shalman said. “They can emit a large amount of moisture into the air.”

Shalman has been at the Apex Village since 6am on Sunday, July 31 getting everything ready.

“Right now we have beautiful blue skies but if the wind changes that’s a whole different story,” he said.

The entire village of Apex Mountain and surrounding areas were put on evacuation alert Saturday night after the Keremeos Creek Fire showed aggressive fire behavior in that direction.

More than 350 properties are on alert to evacuate at any time.

Using snow guns to fight fires has been part of Apex’s fire prevention plans for years.

“There are very few mountains like ours that have snowmaking machines that go from the top of the mountain to the bottom,” Shalman said. “That means we can cover a lot of area.”

The Keremeos Creek fire is burning uncontrollably over an area of ​​approximately 440 hectares. Fortunately, the wildfire saw minimal growth overnight Sunday.

However, other properties were placed under evacuation orders on Saturday evening.

Ten firefighters provided much-needed patrols and structural protection throughout the night, BC Wildfire Service information officer Ayden Corey said.

“Low visibility currently presents challenges for air support assets. A helicopter is currently on site, with three additional helicopters available once visibility improves,” Corey added.

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British Columbia wildfires 2022Penticton