British Columbia

Stable weather in B.C. allowing wildfire crews to focus on containment

Crews battling the wildfire that has forced the evacuation of more than 500 properties in British Columbia's southern Okanagan are taking advantage of calm winds and stable conditions to bolster fire lines.

B.C. Wildfire Service said newly created control lines are 'holding well'

The Keremeos Creek wildfire burning out of control near B.C.'s Highway 3A on Aug. 2, 2022 (Thomas Popyk/CBC)

Crews battling the wildfire that has forced the evacuation of more than 500 properties in British Columbia's southern Okanagan are taking advantage of calm winds and stable conditions to bolster fire lines.

The B.C. Wildfire Service says the Keremeos Creek wildfire covers 68 square kilometres southwest of Penticton, with most of the recent growth due to planned ignitions needed to create the control lines.

An update from the wildfire service says newly created control lines are "holding well.''

It says a key objective is to continue mop-up work along Highway 3A in an effort to reopen the route connecting Keremeos and the evacuated community of Olalla with towns further north.

Crews are keeping a close eye on weather conditions as a storm approaches from Washington state, bringing showers later this week and possible lightning strikes on Wednesday.

Firefighters with firestarting equipment light planned fires along a grassy, wooded hilltop.
B.C. Wildfire Service crews ignite controlled fires on Aug. 4 to try to prevent the growth of the Keremeos Creek wildfire 21 kilometres southwest of Penticton. (B.C. Wildfire Service)

The wildfire service has recorded 564 blazes since the season began, 58 of them in the last seven days, and lists the fire danger rating as high to extreme on Vancouver Island, the entire B.C. coast and across the southern quarter of the province.

Of the eight wildfires of note currently burning in the Kamloops and Southeast fire centres, only the blaze near Penticton continues to keep residents out of their homes.

None of the other seven have grown significantly in recent days, and the wildfire service website says the roughly
three-square-kilometre fire in grasslands northwest of Kamloops is now listed as "being held,'' allowing crews to finish building control lines.

Wildfires of note are either highly visible or pose a threat to people or properties.

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