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UPDATE: More growth expected as Crater Creek wildfire near Keremeos crosses border

BC Wildfire Service now working with officials south of the border to fight 37,000-hectare blaze
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The 22,000-hectare Crater Creek wildfire overnight, Saturday, Aug. 19. (Photo- Tierra McIvor)

UPDATE: 4 p.m.

The 37,000-hectare Crater Creek wildfire near Keremeos is now burning south of the border, with further growth expected Saturday evening.

Casda Thomas, information officer at BC Wildfire Service, says 65 personnel are currently responding to the blaze.

BCWS crews are working now with officials in Washington State, she added.

“The growth has been predominately to the south,” Thomas said. “Currently, the northwest corner continues to be a slow-backing fire and is only burning rank two.”

There are 13 properties within the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen under evacuation order and another 195 on evacuation alert.

Evacuation orders were lifted earlier on Saturday for six properties in the RDOS’ Electoral Area “G” (Rural Keremeos).

Dry conditions with gusting winds remain in the forecast for Saturday evening.

“Based on the forecast, there is expected to be further growth and likely to the south,” Thomas said.

Heavy equipment and structure protection personnel have responded to the blaze.

Aerial resources have been made available, according to BCWS.

As of 4 p.m., the blaze is an estimated three hectares in size south of the border.

UPDATE: 10:45 a.m.

The Crater Creek wildfire near Keremeos has grown to more than 37,000 hectares but six properties are no longer under evacuation order, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen has confirmed.

The RDOS rescinded orders for properties in Electoral Area “G” (Rural Keremeos) along the Similkameen River on the west side of Highway 3, from 3675 Highway 3 to 4355 Highway 3.

This area includes Suncatchers RV Park, Riverside MH Park; and Lucky R MH Park.

These properties are now under evacuation alert.

There are now 13 properties under evacuation order and another 195 on evacuation alert.

According to the BC Wildfire Service, the fire’s most active flank is currently the southeast corner of the fire, which is displaying Rank 4 fire behaviour with a highly vigorous fire and an organized flame front.

The west and south flanks are showing more moderate vigour and Rank 3 behaviour, while the northeast flank continues to present visibility challenges.

The emergency reception centre in Penticton has moved locations and can now be found at Princess Margaret Secondary at 120 Green Avenue.

ORIGINAL

The Crater Creek wildfire south of Keremeos continues to burn out of control Saturday, Aug. 19, and remains and estimated 22,000 hectares in size.

All evacuation orders and alerts are still in place, as of Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

BC Wildfire Service says structure protection personnel responded to the blaze on Thursday and Friday nights. An additional eight personnel and multiple pieces of heavy equipment also responded.

Crews said late Friday afternoon that there was “significant fire behaviour,” with potential for growth overnight.

Visibility remained a challenge through the evening, BCWS said.

The blaze is located 18 kilometres southwest of Keremeos.

An update from BCWS is expected to come later on Saturday morning.

A total of 19 properties within the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen remain on evacuation order, and another 189 properties are under evacuation alert.

The emergency reception centre in Penticton has moved locations and can now be found at Princess Margaret Secondary at 120 Green Avenue.

Black Press Media will update this story throughout the day.

READ MORE: Crews fight challenging conditions as Crater Creek wildfire grows near Keremeos


@lgllockhart
logan.lockhart@pentictonwesternnews.com



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