Fire crews make ‘good progress’ at Keremeos Creek wildfire – Penticton News

UPDATE: 5 p.m.

Warmer temperatures on Saturday compared to the past few days increased fire activity for the Keremeos Creek Wildfire.

BC Wildfire Service fire information officer Mikhail Elsay said the increase was expected and crews are prepared for it.

“Crews are making good progress over Ollala installing handguards, so they’re doing a good job of creating containment lines,” he said.

“Northern section crews were also working hard to establish containments north of Sheep Creek Road.”

The 426 firefighters stationed at the blaze are on rotation, with the majority battling blazes during the day.

Highway 3A is expected to remain closed for the foreseeable future. Elsay said there is still a fairly active fire in some areas, so it will remain closed for responder safety and public safety.

The fire remains estimated at 5,903 hectares, with BCWS constantly mapping the fire as it changes and grows.

“The crews are doing a good job there. We will continue to work the fire throughout the 24-hour cycles for the foreseeable future,” Elsay added.

More than 540 properties in rural areas of Keremeos, the Apex region and Olalla remain under evacuation orders, with another 1,050 properties in the area under alert.

An interactive map of all properties on order and on alert is available online here.

UPDATE: 9:33 a.m.

The BC Fire Department said crews were challenged Friday night as they battled the Keremeos Creek Wildfire.

The southern flank, north of Ollala, experienced spots and flare-ups.

“They were able to activate it, then do manual ignitions to solidify their lines and wedge the fire on the rocky cliff north of the village. There was no fire damage to the structures overnight,” said said BCWS in their Saturday morning. update.

“On the northeast flank, crews have been challenged by the winds in the area and are working to build relief lines.”

The fire is currently estimated at 5903 hectares.

In addition to 15 helicopters and 40 pieces of heavy equipment, 260 wildland firefighters are assigned to this fire working with 166 other structural protection personnel from fire departments across British Columbia for a total strength of 426 firefighters.

BCWS said they expect a strong upper ridge to lie over the region on Saturday.

Plans for Saturday on the eastern flank are to build zero-fuel lines from Green Mountain Road to the McKay Creek staging area. Sprinklers will be installed behind properties on Green Mountain Road.

Crews will be building lines around Hedges Butte towards McKay Creek as well as building handguards and no fuel from McKay Creek towards Green Mountain Road.

On the western flank, teams will use direct attack methods from Green Mountain Road to Keremeos Creek Forest Service Road. Heavy equipment will be used to establish relief lines between Apex Mountain and Dividend Mountain to south of Keremeos Creek.

In preparation for the planned ignition, crews will continue to install handlines along the Olalla Creek Forest Service Road.

Crews were assigned to contain the fire north of the Highway 3 corridor.

Highway 3A remains closed at this time between the junction of Highway 97 at Kaleden and Keremeos.

Click here for an interactive map of all properties on order and alert.

ORIGINAL: 4 a.m.

166 BC Fire Services structural protection personnel responded to the Keremeos Creek Fire on Friday, as more than 540 properties in rural Keremeos, the Apex area and Olalla remain under fire. evacuation order.

1,050 other properties in the region are under alert.

An update Friday afternoon listed the fire covering nearly 6,000 acres and had closed Highway 3A.

The BC Wildfire Service sent a message Friday evening specifically to thank the Structure Protection Branch, which “played a vital role in the defense of property near the wildfire.”

The fire crews are assisted in their work by 21 fire engines, 15 water supply personnel and a mechanic.

These crews are made up of more than 35 fire departments, according to BCWS, as well as many unique resources that provided assistance in responding to this wildfire.

“The BC Wildfire Service recognizes and appreciates the longstanding cooperative relationship with the structural firefighting community,” they wrote.

The wildfire broke out on Friday July 29 and has so far resulted in the loss of one home.

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