Wind, humidity cause South Okanagan wildfires to flare up

Click to play video: 'South Okanagan fires show increased fire activity'
South Okanagan fires show increased fire activity
Two wildfires are still burning in the South Okanagan and crews were quite busy over the weekend as both fires were showing an increase in fire activity due to the humidity and winds. Taya Fast reports. – Sep 17, 2023

Smoke covered the South Okanagan over the weekend as hotter temperatures and strong winds have triggered a spike in wildfire activity.

Crews continue to battle two wildfires in the area including the Crater Creek Wildfire near Keremeos which is estimated to be around 46,504 hectares.

“We’re still expecting to see these higher temperatures, really low relative humidity, and increased winds so we are expecting to see more increased activity on that fire today,” said BC Wildfire Information Officer Shaelee Stearns.

“Over the last few days, you’ve seen that smoke come up that has both been from pockets within the perimeter of that unburned fuel as well as along that perimeter as well.”

Click to play video: 'House and horses lost in Crater Creek Wildfire'
House and horses lost in Crater Creek Wildfire

According to BC Wildfire Service, the increased fire activity is happening within the fire perimeter and the Crater Creek Wildfire is still classified as being held.

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“Today we have an initial attack crew as well as the unit crew on site,” said Stearns. “So overall 20 personnel responding and helicopter assisting as well.”

Meanwhile, the Upper Park Rill Creek fire continues to burn near Twin Lakes and is estimated to be just over 2,000 hectares.

“That one has also seen some increase in activity as well and we still have an initial attack group assigned to this incident,” said Stearns. “While still classified as being held, we have seen that activity increase both within the perimeter and then along the perimeter as well.”

Late Sunday, an evacuation alert was issued by the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen due to the threat of this wildfire.

The alert included the west side of Willowbrook Road from 2592 Willowbrook Road, north to the south side of Orofino Road. It will also include Lillian Road, Ripley Lake Recreation Site and the Madden Lake Recreation Site.

Click to play video: 'Keremeos area fires merge into large blaze'
Keremeos area fires merge into large blaze

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