Growth of out of control wildfire near Osoyoos could impact Highway 3 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Growth of out of control wildfire near Osoyoos could impact Highway 3

Wildfire near Osoyoos, July 22, 2021.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Colin Johnson
July 22, 2021 - 4:04 PM

A roughly 2,000 hectare wildfire burning to the near Osoyoos has grown, causing more evacuation orders and could potentially close Highway 3.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen held a live-streamed media briefing this afternoon, July 22, to provide an update on the Nk'Mip Creek wildfire.

Erick Thompson, with the regional district’s Emergency Operations Centre, said road closures, including Highway 3, are pending and more information will be posted on Drive BC’s website when they become available.

There has been growth on the northeast and south perimeter of the fire, however smoke has hindered the B.C. Wildfire Service’s ability to get an accurate measurement on the size.

There has been some damage to power lines and B.C. Wildfire is working with FortisBC to restore power to residents. According to FortisBCs outage map, roughly 70 customers have been impacted.

Three aircraft and 67 firefighters are working on the fire today with more arriving in the coming days, Thompson said.

A new evacuation order was issued by the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen this afternoon for Electoral Area A, which is located to the south of Highway 3.

Thompson said Electoral Area A director Mark Pendergraft had to leave a regional district meeting this afternoon to pack his bags as his home is under the evacuation order.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen has issued an evacuation alert for Electoral Area A, C and the Town of Oliver. The district has also issued an evacuation order for Electoral Area A and C and a state of local emergency has been declared by the district's Emergency Operations Centre. For more information, visit the regional district's website here.

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary has also issued an evacuation order for 122 properties and an evacuation alert for an additional 304 properties in the area of the Nk'Mip Creek wildfire. For more information, visit the regional district's website here.

Oliver Mayor Martin Johansen is asking Anarchist Mountain evacuees to stay with friends or relatives if possible as there is no spaces available in hotels or motels in the town, Thompson said.

He also asked boaters to stay off of Skaha and Osoyoos Lakes if possible and to avoid wildfire operations.

According to the wildfire service, more resources will be coming into the province in the coming days.

There are currently 2,193 personnel engaged in wildfire activities, including 1,100 contractors and 178 aircraft across B.C.

Tomorrow, 112 Quebec personnel will arrive to assist with wildfires and on Sunday, 100 Mexican firefighters are due to arrive in Abbotsford. Military personnel have arrived in B.C. and are currently stationed in Vernon.

B.C. is also trying to work with Australia to secure army resources.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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