Controlled burns on South Okanagan wildfire prompt smoky skies warning | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Controlled burns on South Okanagan wildfire prompt smoky skies warning

Smoke from small hand ignitions along Sheep Creek can be seen in this aerial photo of the Keremeos Creek Wildfire, Aug, 7, 2022.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/B.C. Wildfire Service

Crews have been using prescribed burns on the huge out of control wildfire burning southwest of Penticton and that has prompted a smoky skies bulletin from Environment Canada.

The air quality advisory due to wildfire smoke includes Penticton, Summerland, Naramata, Keremeos, Oliver and Osoyoos.?
Controlled burns were conducted yesterday and continue today, Aug. 8, as a way to get a handle on the out of control 5,900 hectare Keremeos Creek wildfire burning 21 kilometres southwest of Penticton.

The planned ignitions have been successful, according to B.C Wildfire Service, with the new control lines holding well.

The wildfire, which has been burning for more than a week, has prompted an evacuation order for more than 500 properties and put more than 1,000 others under orders to be ready to leave at short notice.

For more information about evacuation orders and alerts go to the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen website here, the Village of Keremeos website here or the Penticton Indian Band website here.

The wildfire service has assigned crews to put in sprinkler systems to protect properties in the northeast quadrant of the blaze.

There are currently 405 firefighters assigned to the blaze, including 245 wildland firefighters with 160 on the structural protection crews. They are supported by 16 helicopters and 45 pieces of heavy equipment.

For the latest on air quality advisories and other weather-related alerts go to Environment Canada’s public weather alert page here.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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