The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have issued an evacuation for the ski resort community of Apex Mountain Village in British Columbia, Canada.
It’s the latest ski area to be threatened by the growing number of wildfires as temperatures rise and drier conditions prevail.
The Keremeos Creek wildfire threatening Apex has grown to cover 22.6 square kilometres.
Apex has been using its snowmaking machinery to spray mist at buildings in an attempt to protect them from the blaze, a technique that is becoming increasingly popular as ski areas seek to protect themselves.
James Shalman, the resort’s general manager, told CBC that several hundred people live in the village during the summer months and said that currently the resort was not in the fire’s path
“Right now things are looking good, but you never know if the wind shifts and Mother Nature turns things sideways,” he said.
Unfortunately wildfires are becoming a major factor as climate change impacts with ski areas in Australia, Canada, Spain and the US among those hit by fires over the past three years.
Australia’s Selwyn ski area was completely destroyed by a bushfire in early 2000 but has since been rebuilt and will open in 2023. Sierra at Tahoe ski area in California had a wildfire burn through it last summer. Extensive preparations as the fire approached and using snowmaking to douse buildings appears to have limited damage but the ski area was unable to re-open last winter, but is aiming to be back for 22-23.
Recent fires over the past 12 months have come close to ski areas including Heavenly, Kirkwood, Sun Peaks and Taos, among others, in a similar way to the current fire near Apex.