Camper and house burn in Nk'Mip Creek wildfire near Osoyoos | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Camper and house burn in Nk'Mip Creek wildfire near Osoyoos

The Nk’Mip Creek wildfire, July 23, 2021.
Image Credit: BC Wildfire Service
July 23, 2021 - 2:39 PM

A house and a camper have been burned by the Nk'Mip Creek wildfire near Osoyoos.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen Emergency Operations Centre director Bill Newell confirmed the house and camper were impacted by the Nk'Mip Creek wildfire in the Shrike Hill Road area, but they don’t yet know the extent of the damage.

An assessment team will be on site once the B.C. Wildfire Service allows the district to access the site, he said.

The EOC held a live-streamed update on the Nk'Mip Creek wildfire, Brenda Creek and Thomas Creek wildfires this afternoon, July 23.

The Nk'Mip Creek wildfire has grown to 6,800 hectares size, as of this morning. The wildfire is spreading to the south and northeast direction, said wildfire service fire information officer Dani McIntosh.

Hot temperatures and winds are causing the Nk'Mip Creek wildfire is to be active later in the day, she said.

There are currently no plans for a Highway 3 closure but there is discussions around an evacuation alert on Highway 3, and B.C. Wildfire is working with the Ministry of Transportation to ensure people are provided with enough notice to get out of the area if that happens, McIntosh said.

FortisBC has two crews on site monitoring the power lines that provide power to Osoyoos and Oliver.

"They are doing everything they can with structural protection to ensure that line isn't compromised," McIntosh said. "There has been some damaged to power lines."

Spirit Ridge Resort posted that an evacuation order it is currently under is due to be changed to an alert tomorrow, July 24.

"Tomorrow the situation will be assessed as to the safety to re-open. The fire we saw this week has moved away from the resort at this time. Fire crews did an excellent job of protecting this area," the resort posted.

“Yesterday, there was significant fire spread to the north towards Camp McKinney Road. Crews continued to work through the night to protect structures and critical infrastructure. Heavy equipment continues to be used to build fire guards. The terrain is steep and rocky in some areas which can limit the use of equipment," the wildfire service said.

READ MORE: Wildfire near Osoyoos 'aggressive and challenging' for firefighters

Dennis Rexin, incident commander for the wildfire service, said crews are making good headway to establish more fire guards around the Thomas Creek wildfire along forest service roads near Okanagan Falls.

The majority of work on the fire has been on the western slopes ensuring the evacuation alert for the Okanagan Falls area can be rescinded as soon as possible, he said. 

"Cooler temperatures yesterday resulted in minimal growth. The most active part of the fire continues to be the north flank, in heavier timber. The fire has now burned into the area of the Christie Mountain Fire, which may result in decreased fire behaviour in that area due to a reduction in available fuel," according to the wildfire service.

In the near future, B.C. Wildfire is expecting the arrival of additional firefighters, including in the Department of National Defence, to support crews on the Thomas Creek fire, Rexin said. 

The Brenda Creek fire near Peachland is threatening a transmission line that supplies power to Peachland, West Kelowna and surrounding Westside communities.

The fire is producing wispy white smoke, which is an indication that there’s not a lot of hot fire or activity in that area, Rexin said.

A sprinkler system has been successful in protecting the transmission line and it can be operated throughout the night, as well as in areas where helicopters can’t provide support under the power line, he said.

READ MORE: Firefighters have some ‘good luck’ with wildfire burning near Peachland

- This story was updated at 3:26 p.m. Friday, July 23, 2021 to add additional comment and a video.

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