UPDATE: 3 p.m.
A structure was lost due to the Keremeos Creek fire near the community of Apex.
Deemed aggressive, crews say they are witnessing “erratic fire behavior” and expect the size of the fire to spread between 200 and 300 hectares.
An evacuation order remains in effect for 21 properties, with an additional team of 20 people and an incident management team currently on the way, according to the BC Wildfire Service.
The Okanagan-Similkameen Regional District EOC team confirmed in a Saturday update that a structure had been lost due to the fire.
“It could be an old shack or an older building, it’s hard to say, but we can definitely confirm that a structure has been lost,” the RDOS EOC team told media. when updating.
Overnight, the wildfire jumped Green Mountain Road to the east.
“We are seeing quite erratic fire behavior due to changing winds,” said Kaitlin Baskerville of the Kamloops Fire Center. “We now expect to anticipate growth that could go east, west, north, south.”
At 3:00 p.m., there were 18 BC Wildfire Service personnel, four helicopters, structural protection personnel and several fire department devices on site.
Baskerville says the cause of the fire is currently unknown.
The Incident Management Team has been deployed, is en route and will take command of the fire on Sunday morning.
The Keremeos Creek wildfire near the community of Apex has grown to approximately 150 hectares.
According to BCWS, the fire cannot be reached by heavy machinery or air tankers due to the terrain making it unusable.
The tankers are currently on standby, according to information officer Mélanie Bibeau, who says crews will be able to use them as a resource if the fire moves to an area where the terrain is accessible.
The wildfire was first reported in the afternoon, with BC Wildfire Service crews on the blaze for several hours at 7:30 p.m., according to fire information officer Aydan Coray.
Two helicopters and 10 ground personnel were on site, with additional reinforcements including structural protection teams en route.
The fire is located near Keremeos Creek and the Keremeos Forest Service Road, approximately 10 kilometers southeast of Apex Mountain and 21 kilometers from Penticton.
The BC Wildfire Service responds to the Keremeos Creek Wildfire (K50863) located approx. 21 km southwest of Penticton. The forest fire is estimated at 100 ha. pic.twitter.com/G0x5nQsU0d
— BC Forest Fire Service (@BCGovFireInfo) July 30, 2022
The Apex Resort’s own webcams currently show the fire in the distance, and the plume of smoke is visible from Penticton and other nearby communities.
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British Columbia Wildfires 2022