UPDATE 2:00 p.m.:
A wildfire burning in the South Okanagan near Pentiction has more than quintupled in size Monday (Aug. 1).
The Keremeos Creek fire grew from 437 to over 2,264 hectares from Sunday evening to Monday afternoon, according to the most recent information from the BC Wildfire Service and Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen.
Monday morning, all residents in Apex Mountain village were ordered to leave their properties as part of a series of evacuation orders in the area.
Additional evacuation orders and alerts were issued at 2 p.m. for properties along Highway 3A, including parts of Olalla.
There are now 324 properties under evacuation order in both Electoral Area I and G, and 73 under evacuation alert.
The full and latest list of properties under evacuation alert and order can be found on the RDOS Emergency Operation Centre website at emergency.rdos.bc.ca/latest-updates
A reception center for evacuees has been established at Princess Margaret High School in Penticton on Green Avenue.
There have been concerns about gusts and the chance of a thunderstorm in the area over the afternoon.
The Keremeos Creek wildfire is expected to grow again as B.C. Day carries on.
There are currently 144 firefighters battling the blaze, and to assist them a temporary camp has been established at Penticton’s Kings Park parking lot.
The last estimated size of the fire is still at 437 hectares, however, that is expected to grow as updated map-points are processed by the BC Wildfire Service.
Yesterday, as the afternoon wore on, activity was largely seen at the southwest section of the fire towards Highway 3A. It is not currently known where the activity may resume on Monday afternoon.
The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen issued further evacuation alerts and an evacuation order for the entirety of the Apex Mountain village on Monday morning due to the risk to people in the area.
BC Wildfire Service is expecting cooler temperatures over the next couple of days to help reduce the wildfire’s activity.
In addition to the camp for the firefighters, the City of Penticton has also provided care for animals and evacuees from the fire.
There are nine helicopters and four pieces of heavy equipment working alongside the 144 firefighters on the Keremeos Creek wildfire.
Due to the terrain, the heavy equipment and air tankers stationed in Penticton have been unable to directly assist on the fire over the previous days.
A portion of the fire to the west has moved into an area where heavy equipment is now able to work, and crews are currently building lines at Sheep Creek.
Further contingency lines are being planned and discussed with the wildfire service, First Nations and other partners.
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