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B.C. wildfire update Tuesday: Hundreds more people forced from their homes

Click to play video: 'B.C. wildfires: Nk’Mip Creek wildfire forces evacuations near Osoyoos' B.C. wildfires: Nk’Mip Creek wildfire forces evacuations near Osoyoos
An intense wildfire between Oliver and Osoyoos has forced hundreds to flee from their homes and vacation rentals. As Jennifer Palma tells us, there could be more evacuations as the situation remains active. – Jul 20, 2021

More than 200 properties within the Osoyoos Indian Band were ordered to evacuate immediately due to the fast-moving new Nk’Mip Creek wildfire that sparked Monday evening.

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.”

Click to play video: 'Inkaneep Creek fire burning near Osoyoos' Inkaneep Creek fire burning near Osoyoos
Inkaneep Creek fire burning near Osoyoos – Jul 20, 2021

Read more: B.C. declares provincial state of emergency due to wildfires

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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.

Read more: B.C. wildfire map 2021 — Location and size of the fires burning around the province

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.

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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.

Click to play video: 'Wildfire near Mabel Lake puts cabins on alert' Wildfire near Mabel Lake puts cabins on alert
Wildfire near Mabel Lake puts cabins on alert – Jul 19, 2021

Read more: ‘Good progress’ made on out of control fire east of Mabel Lake: BC Wildfire Service

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.

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The order includes the Cottonwoods campgrounds, with the order being issued after a recommendation from the Service.

—With files from Megan Turcato

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