The First Nation and the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen also declared a state of local emergency because of the now 1,100-hectare blaze, which broke out at approximately 4 p.m. near Inkameep Road, on the Osoyoos Indian Band Reserve between Oliver and Osoyoos, B.C.
“I’ve seen a lot of fires up here. I’ve lived here for five years,” Oliver resident Kaitlyn Bogas told Global News Monday. “This Osoyoos fire right now is the fastest explosion of flames I’ve seen. They got on it really quickly. It was probably only about 30 to 35 minutes until they had those tankers here.”
The B.C. government is holding a press conference at 2 p.m. PT Tuesday.
There have been growing calls for a provincial state of emergency as more evacuation orders and alerts have been ordered.
Last week, B.C. Premier John Horgan said it was not necessary at that time.
“There is not one advantage” to calling a state of emergency except to bring more people together, Horgan said Friday.
There are currently 293 active fires burning in the province with 11 sparked in the last two days. Thirty-seven of the fires burning are considered wildfires of note, meaning they are highly visible or pose a threat to public safety.
The biggest wildfire remains the Sparks Lake blaze, burning north of Kamloops Lake and an estimated 47,732 hectares in size.
That fire forced the evacuation of 289 properties in the region and the chief and council of the Skeetchestn Indian Band also implemented an evacuation order for their community.
An additional 298 properties are under an evacuation alert.
Officials in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District in the Kamloops Fire Centre, where the majority of fires are burning, asked Emergency Management BC for another 100 to 150 personnel to help them on Monday.
They said they are running out of space for evacuees due to an additional 28 properties near the White Rock Lake fire and another seven properties near the Embleton Mountain fire needing to be evacuated Monday.
The BC Wildfire Service said crews made “really good progress” Sunday on the Bunting Road Wildfire that’s burning out of control east of Mabel Lake in B.C.’s North Okanagan.
However, the Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) issued an evacuation order for the 10,000 to 17,000 blocks of Mable Lake Forest Service Road Tuesday.
The order includes the Cottonwoods campgrounds, with the order being issued after a recommendation from the Service.
—With files from Megan Turcato