‘Powerful’ Keremeos Creek wildfire near Penticton grows and forces evacuations
‘Powerful’ Keremeos Creek wildfire near Penticton grows and forces evacuations

‘Powerful’ Keremeos Creek wildfire near Penticton grows and forces evacuations

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Wildfires at Keremeos Creek near Penticton in Okanagan-Similkameen have caused eviction order In the Apex Mountain Village area.

In an update published Monday morning, the Apex Fire Brigade announced that the order is being issued by the regional district in an effort to “protect the health, safety or welfare of any person or to limit damage to property caused by wildfires.”

“RCMP and SAR members will expedite this action,” the post added. Updated later Monday afternoon, more properties were added to the eviction alert in the communities of White Lake, Twin Lake, Highway 3 and Ollala.

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As of the weekend, the fire had an area of ​​437 hectares, but by noon Monday, the fire had grown to an estimated 2,264 hectares.

In a series of tweets, BC Wildfire said it has deployed structural protection kits to homes and infrastructure “as needed.”

“Crews are actively building emergency lines on the south side of the canyon on Sheep Creek Road and building manual lines south of Green Mountain Road to Highway 3A. Crews are also working along Green Mountain Road,” the bushfire agency wrote. Roads are an integral part of our safety plan, and roads are kept open as reasonably possible and as long as it is safe to do so. Operations are expected to impact Highway 3A periodically, from Twin Lakes to Olalla, as the response continues.”

The agency told CityNews that the size of the fire had grown exponentially.

“We know she slept, she slept yesterday afternoon. You can see people posting about it on social media,” explained Fire Information Officer Brian Zandberg. “We’re seeing some Rank 4 shooting behavior, so it’s a very strong fire. Lots of candle trees — they happen in remote areas of the fire. So it’s growing.”

The agency is ramping up staffing levels at the Kerimos Creek fire, adding that more crews are being brought in to help fight the blazes. According to the service, 144 firefighters, nine helicopters and four heavy equipment units are currently battling the blaze.

BC Wildfire Service Sunday said That the fire had been “relatively quiet in the past two days”, but was “demonstrating more energetic behavior in the southwest corner near Highway 3A.” The service added that fire activity was “highly visible”.

Firefighting crews have been brought in from all over the county to help fight this blaze.

Apex Mountain Resort also posted ice machines To fight the flames, if necessary.

“Our crew worked tirelessly today alongside Apex Mountain Resort staff to prepare equipment, fire on property and prepare for the worst case scenario,” the Apex Fire Brigade said Sunday.

Zandberg told CityNews that the BC Wildfire Service is working closely with a number of local agencies, including the local First Nations. The work is also coordinated with BC Hydro and other groups.

The cause of the wildfires at Kerimos Creek is still under investigation. The fire was discovered on July 29, amid extreme temperatures and after dozens of lightning strikes struck parts of the southern interior.

The BC Wildfire Service notes that much of the fire is burning in “non-operable” terrain for carriers and heavy machinery support.

“There was some growth yesterday and it was in those inaccessible areas. They are higher areas than I understand, just a lot of valleys and canyons and pulls, hard to get to. Again, we’re building our forces here, so, really, our concern is just protecting People’s homes, the Apex resort, and all that infrastructure, and transportation lines as well,” Zandberg explained, adding that crews are also focused on keeping the roads accessible.

As temperatures continue to rise and crews continue to grapple with extreme conditions, Zandberg says the BC Wildfire Service is doing its best to keep firefighters safe.

“It is very hot right now, we are worried about our crews who are suffering from heat exhaustion and God forbid heatstroke, so we have to set up a safe camp. We are still in a COVID situation so we have a COVID coordinator here to make sure everyone is healthy. There has been an outbreak It’s a challenge but we have really good people and good supply lines to put these kinds of things in place,” he explained, adding that some of the staff It also works overnight.

Files from Karim Gouda

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