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The Keremeos Creek wildfire in B.C. near Washington border grows to 6,894 acres

Keremeos Creek wildfire // PHOT BY: BC Wildfire

-Penteicton, British Columbia

The Keremeos Creek wildfire burning 13 miles (21 kilometers) southwest from the city of Penticton British Columbia 34 miles (55km) from the Washington/B.C. border has grown to 6,894 acres (2,790 hectors). The wildfire has ordered evacuation notices for 324 properties with another 438 properties on alert.

According to B.C. Wildfire Center, a portion of the fire was not visible earlier due to smoke. Once the smoke cleared a more accurate perimeter was obtained. Yesterday evening (August 1) airtankers were able to do two passes with retardant but were unable to continue due to crosswinds. The fire has moved downslope closer to Highway 3A at the south end of Yellow Lake, and a control line is progressing along the highway. This will limit growth and allow crews to safely access and establish containment lines.

Firefighters are being assisted with 114 wildland firefighters are assigned to this fire working with an additional 115 structural protection personnel from fire depart- ments across BC for a total crew complement of 229 firefighters. 8 helicopters and 4 pieces of heavy equipment are also assigned.

Crews are establishing control lines along the north side of Hwy 3A southwards to Green Mtn Road, as well as establishing a control line from Hwy 3A to top of Sheep Creek Road in preparation for ignitions operations. Structure protection will be established where and as needed. Additional crews are establishing control lines from Green Mtn Rd working west and preparing Cedar Creek Road for potential burn operations. A complete danger tree assessment and falling along Green Mountain Road.

Roadways are an integral part of BC Wildfire Service’s safety plan and roads are kept open as much as is reasonably possible, and as long as it is safe to do so. According to fire personnel, in accordance with the Ministry of Transportation there has been recommendation that Highway 3A from Twin Lakes to Olalla be temporarily closed to accommodate fire operations. For information about any road closures go to: DriveBC

With triple digit temperatures baking the Pacific Northwest and the interior of Washington and British Columbia most of the province is under an extreme fire danger rating.

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