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Crews battling difficult area of Keremeos Creek wildfire

Keremeos Creek Wildfire, 6 Aug 2022. B.C. Wildfire Service

Evacuation orders for the Apex Mountain area will remain in place as crews continue to battle a difficult part of the Keremeos Creek wildfire.

In an update on Sunday, BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) said the Northwestern part of the fire near Apex Mountain is quite active and difficult to access.

“A few other considerations are that there’s a massive amount of structure protection equipment in Apex,” said BCWS Information Officer Forrest Tower.

“The logistics of getting all that stuff torn down and on trucks, there will be a lot of our firefighters and structure crews and traffic on that road. So just for the safety of the public and then our crews as well.”

Read more: Keremeos Creek wildfire: Evacuation orders, alerts remain in place

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On Saturday, the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen (RDOS) said that the evacuation order impacts Apex Mountain Resort, a portion of Green Mountain Road, and homes at the top of Sheep Creek Road.

The RDOS added that evacuation alerts also remain in place for properties along Highway 3A from Twin Lakes to Olalla, Marron Valley, Farleigh Lake, and portions of Green Mountain Road.

BCWS said fire conditions overnight and into Sunday morning are considered stable and the fire is estimated at 6,948 hectares.

However, the fire is still classified as a fire of note due to activity in the northwest area.

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“It’ll remain out of control for probably quite some time. This means that there is potential for it to spread outside of containment lines,” said Tower.

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“And for most of the fire, that isn’t true, but in that northwest corner, it still is. And we can’t classify parts of the fire differently.”

Crews were monitoring stormy weather throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre but according to Tower, the extreme weather did not impact the Keremeos Creek wildfire.

“We didn’t receive any high winds that challenged our lines,” said Tower.

Read more: Personnel battling Keremeos Creek wildfire camping at Oliver, B.C. airport

Meanwhile, crews continue to “mop up and control,” attempting to get 100 feet within the fire’s perimeter either extinguished or removing any available fuels that could be burned in the area.

Currently, there are 329 firefighters assigned to the blaze and 49 structure protection personnel, supported by 16 helicopters and 45 pieces of heavy equipment.

“Crews will be here for many more weeks but for the most part, pretty minimal fire activity. There will still be smoke visible from fire burning within the perimeter, but nothing that’s outside of existing control lines at this point,” said Tower.

BCWS reminding drivers to slow down and stay vigilant on BC Highway 3A as crews are working along the highway.

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