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Crater Creek wildfire now over 44,000 hectares

The fire has continued to grow with firefighting efforts ongoing
The Crater Creek wildfire south of Keremeos saw growth overnight and is now an estimated 44,000 hectares in size. (Brennan Phillips/Western News)

The Crater Creek wildfire south of Keremeos continues to rage a week after wildfires across the Okanagan erupted.

The fire was registered at over 44,000 hectares as of Aug. 21. The fire crossed the border into the United States on the weekend and the BC Wildfire Service continues to work with its American counterparts..

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen still had 13 properties within the RDOS under evacuation order and another 195 on evacuation alert as of Monday morning.

The Upper Similkameen Indian Band and Lower Similkameen Indian Bands also had evacuation alerts in place, and the LSIB had evacuation orders for at least 36 properties as of a press conference on Aug. 15.

The RDOS will not say whether any homes have been destroyed due to the ongoing fire activity making it impossible for staff to safely assess the area.

READ MORE: Crater Creek wildfire near Keremeos grows 4,000 hectares overnight

On Saturday the RDOS had rescinded orders for properties in Electoral Area “G” (Rural Keremeos) along the Similkameen River on the west side of Highway 3, from 3675 Highway 3 to 4355 Highway 3.

This area includes Suncatchers RV Park, Riverside MH Park; and Lucky R MH Park. Those properties are part of the 195 in the RDOS still on alert.

BC Wildfire Service had 65 ground personnel on scene on Monday, with structural protection crews having remained on overnight shifts.

Some sections of the fire grew into the site of previous burns from 2018, which was expected to stymie further major growth.

Crews were working along the west side of the Ashnola drainage to build guard lines, with a dozer guard and small-scale hand ignitions used on the east side.

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The Crater Creek fire ballooned and merged with the Gillianders Creek fire on Aug. 15, sending up a plume of smoke so big it could be seen into Kelowna. (Kate Hansen photo)

Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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