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No structure damage overnight as crews continue to battle Keremeos Creek wildfire

BC Wildfire Service says crews were challenged overnight in fighting the blaze north of Olalla
BC Wildfire Service firefighters set hand ignitions along the edge of the Keremeos Creek Wildfire to control burn-off fuel. (BCWS)

BC Wildfire Service says crews were challenged overnight in battling the nearly 6,000-hectare Keremeos Creek wildfire.

While there was no fire damage to structures, winds in the area and flare-ups north of Olalla challenged crews into the morning of Aug. 6.

“On the northeast flank, crews were challenged by winds in the area and are working on building contingency lines,” BC Wildfire Service wrote in its Saturday update.

The blaze is 5903 hectares in size, with evacuation orders currently issued to more than 500 properties. Across the two Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen electoral areas impacted and the Village of Keremeos, 1,050 properties are on evacuation alert.

Heavy winds made the fire more active on Thursday, with crews facing additional challenges on the south flank, north of Olalla on Friday night.

“They were able to action it and then conduct some hand ignitions to solidify their lines and stalled the fire at the rock bluff north of the village,” BC Wildfire Service added.

A strong upper ridge will lie over the area on Saturday and sprinklers will be installed behind properties on Green Mountain Road on the eastern flank.

“Crews will be building fuel-free lines from Green Mountain Road towards McKay Creek staging area,” the update reads.

Through the night, wildland and structural crews will be patrolling the area.

Preparation for planned ignitions will also continue, as crews establish hand lines along Olalla Creek Forest Service Road.

More than 200 evacuees have received support at the Penticton reception centre at Princess Margeret Secondary School. The RDOS is reminding the residents that it’s not too late to reduce the risk of damage by making properties FireSmart.

Highway 3A remains closed from the junction with Highway 97 in Kaleden amid the fire.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

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About the Author: Logan Lockhart

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