Wildfire activity near Penticton expected to increase this afternoon | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Wildfire activity near Penticton expected to increase this afternoon

The Keremeos Creek wildfire, July 31, 2022.
Image Credit: Dan Walton

Firefighters are expecting to see increased wildfire activity this afternoon as temperatures rise and a large fire continues to burn near Apex Mountain Resort.

The Keremeos Creek wildfire is burning roughly 21 kilometres southwest of Penticton. Parts of the Apex Mountain village have been evacuated this morning due to the wildfire.

READ MORE: Apex Mountain village being evacuated due to wildfire

The wildfire is highly visible from Highway 3A and B.C. Wildfire Service work will be ongoing in that area. B.C. Wildfire Service information officer Marg Drysdale said the fire’s perimeter will be mapped this afternoon and she did not have an update on how close the fire is to the highway or which direction the fire is spreading. It has increased in size but is currently listed at 437 ha.

“It’s always a priority to keep roadways open… especially when we are dealing with very high volumes in the Okanagan Valley right now, we will keep all highways open as much as we are able,” she said.

In the last few days, firefighters have been dealing with an inversion meaning the fire is smoky and dormant until the afternoon where they see increased fire activity and temperatures, Drysdale said.

The Keremeos Creek wildfire, July 31, 2022
The Keremeos Creek wildfire, July 31, 2022
Image Credit: Dan Walton

Firefighters from across B.C. are assisting with combating the blaze. Drysdale said there are roughly 144 firefighters from other fire departments and the service has increased resources to use the cooler temperatures they will see in the next few days to their advantage. A heat warning is currently in effect for the Thompson Okanagan but is expected to end this week.

Fire growth has been reported in steep and inaccessible terrain. Crews are building contingency lines, while continuing to concentrate their efforts on areas impacting residents and supporting structure protection crews, according to the wildfire service’s latest update.

A temporary firefighter camp has been set up in Penticton at the Adidas Sportsplex and Kings Park.

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