(BC Wildfire Services)

(BC Wildfire Services)

South Okanagan wildfire sees significant growth, evacuation orders still in effect

Highway 3A has reopened in both directions

The Keremeos Creek wildfire has grown to an estimated 4,250 hectares.

As of Wednesday morning, the blaze sat at 2,790 hectares but grew significantally throughout the course of the day.

BC Wildfire Services states that the growth is due to natural causes and planned ignitions, which are planned to help crews bring the fire down to control lines so they can take action.

Ignitions took place on Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 3) at the Yellow Lake and Sheep Creek areas by aerial and by ground crews. Approximately 200 hectares were ignited.

On the northeastern flank, crews battled the blaze but made good efforts to protect homes and infrastructure in the area.

Crews are going to continue to reinforce containment lines along Highway 3A to Sheep Creek Staging. On Wednesday, the highway was closed in both directions from Upper Bench Road to Twin Lakes Road because of the blaze. As of Thursday at 6:12 a.m., though, Drive BC announced Hwy 3A has been reopened.

Evacuation orders and alerts for the region remain the same: 324 properties are on evacuation order in both Electoral Area I and G, and another 438 are under evacuation alert. For more info, go to the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen website.

The cause of the wildfire remains under investigation and is currently one of six ‘fires of note’ in B.C.

There are currently 64 active wildfires in the province, with 18 of them starting within the last two days. In total, there have been 530 wildfires this year.

While there is a 30 per cent chance of showers in the forecast Thursday, there is also a chance of a thunderstorm. Winds are also expected to reach 20 kilometres an hour.

READ MORE: Boil water notice for West Kelowna

READ MORE: Kelowna had Canada’s highest crime rate in 2021


@cunninghamjordy
jordy.cunningham@kelownacapnews.com

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