The wildfire in Keremeos Creek was described as active Friday night, an official with the BC Wildfire Service told Global News on Saturday morning.
Fire information officer Bryan Zandberg said the large fire appears to be growing northward, albeit slowly, despite crews trying to build containment lines to contain it.
“We don’t expect strong winds today like the other day when we saw the big growth,” Zandberg said. “But we’re expecting slightly higher temperatures and lower humidity, so we’re expecting decent fire activity again on the (fireline) today.”
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In its Saturday morning update, BCWS said 260 wilderness firefighters were on the scene, along with 166 site protection personnel from fire departments across BC, 15 helicopters and 42 heavy equipment.
“Night crews were challenged on the south flank north of Ollala with some observations,” BCWS said.
“They could trade and then do some hand detonations to solidify their lines and stall the fire on the bluff north of the village. There was no fire damage to buildings during the night.”
BCWS says its Saturday forecast includes a strong upper ridge, sunny skies and a daily high of about 26C, along with light winds blowing from the north-northeast.
The current size of the fire is 5,903 hectares and is one of the largest wildfires in the province.
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“It keeps growing,” Zandberg said of the fire. “The other day we had significant growth towards Olalla and that really led to the Wildfire Service recommendation to evacuate (Olalla). And that’s what happened.”
BC’s largest fire burns near the Yukon border, and its latest estimate is 11,067 acres. This fire is considered held.
Meanwhile, the BCWS says they have many questions about depth charges given the Okanagan’s rugged terrain.
Noting that BCWS “does a lot out of the air,” Zandberg said, “Sometimes we feel like people think air bombers are a magic wand. You are not. They are simply part of our toolbox.”
Thousands due to Keremeos Creek wildfire due to evacuation order or alert
He continued, saying: “We used some air support, some fire retardant drops when things got pretty heated. It’s been a few days now and that was really a support for some ground crews that were in some really high places where it got pretty hot.”
Zandberg said BCWS does a lot with ground crews and helicopters, “and we’re constantly adding to our contingent of helicopters to put out the fire.”
When asked about evacuation orders and warnings, Zandberg recommends that affected residents keep a close eye on the RDOS website for any updates.
“We are doing our best not to receive any further alerts or orders for people,” Zandberg said, adding that some areas where the fire broke out have cooled significantly. “We’re also trying our best to get people home as soon as possible.”
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https://globalnews.ca/news/9041999/keremeos-creek-wildfire-aug-6-2022-update/ “Reasonable fire activity” in Saturday’s forecast for the Keremeos Creek fire