Cathedral Lakes Lodge prepares to reopen as Placer Mountain fire held

The Placer Mountain fire burning in the Similkameen is considered held

Staff at Cathedral Lakes Lodge are working to get the summer back on track after being closed for about eight days as BC Wildfire crews worked around the clock to contain the Placer Mountain fire a few kilometres away.

The lodge and campground reopen Fri., Aug. 10.

Glenda Patterson, of Cathedral Lake Lodge, said the phones have been busy taking reservations and trying to reschedule the about 120 guests that were expected over the BC long weekend.

“Unfortunately we lost some very large groups that were coming through Aug. 6 to 9th. We had a large trails group coming in from Alberta. It becomes very complicated to get started up again. It’s a lot about arranging schedules,” she said.

Related:UPDATE: Placer Mountain fire in the Similkameen grows to 2,336 hectares

Although the scheduling is a “bit of a nightmare,” Patterson said she isn’t complaining, really.

“In some odd way we’ve been lucky this year because our evacuation has been in the early part of the fire season… My sense is they wouldn’t have had the manpower or the priority to fight a fire to the west of us in the middle of nowhere now,” she said.

Resources have fluctuated and been shared with the nearby Snowy Mountain fire, south of Keremeos over recent weeks. Both fires broke out July 17 when a storm brought lightning through the region.

Related: Update: BC Wildfire actioning fire above K-Mountain in Keremeos

Patterson said nothing was removed from the lodge and the staff were not laid off, but rather given a vacation during the time the facilities were closed.

“We’re eager to get back and I think it’s going to be a great rest of the season,” she said, adding, “We can’t thank the forest service enough. They are highly skilled trained professionals. These people are trained and skilled and they know what they are doing. I had faith that they would get this under control.”

At the time of this posting the Placer Mountain fire was considered 90 per cent contained was listed at 2,372 hectares in size.

“This fire is classified as being held. Crews have made significant progress on this fire and will patrol and mop-up today. Gear will continue to be demobilized in areas where it is no longer needed,” a release from BC Wildfire stated.

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