Planned ignitions were successful on Aug. 11 at the Keremeos Creek wildfire. (BC Wildfire Service)

Planned ignitions were successful on Aug. 11 at the Keremeos Creek wildfire. (BC Wildfire Service)

High temperatures challenge firefighters working Keremeos Creek wildfire

The wildfire has increased in size to 6,948 hectares

High daytime temperatures continue to challenge crews battling the Keremeos Creek fire.

High temperatures require crews to take frequent breaks to prevent heat stress and exhaustion, said BC Wildfire on Saturday.

Firefighters are also having to look for trees that have been damaged by fire that could fall. Ash pits can also be dangerous as they can be hard to detect and can remain hot long after the flames have died down.

A little bit of rain on Friday night and moderate temperatures have helped fight the blaze this weekend.

Fire behaviour remains relatively stable due to moderate temperatures and increased humidity on Saturday. On Friday night, sections of the fire received between 2 and 6 mm of rain. This reduced fire behaviour, permitted crews to do more direct attack and create containment lines.

A shift in wind direction could increase fire activity today, Sunday, Aug. 14. Temperatures will begin to rise steadily as a ridge of high pressure settles over the province on Tuesday bringing daytime temperatures above 30 C most days.

The fire is now 6,948.7 hectares. The increase in size is due to more accurate mapping and includes growth over the last several days, said BC Wildfire on their Wildfires of Note page.

Highway 3A remains open to all traffic. Evacuation orders for Olalla, parts of Twin Lakes and Green Mountain Road were rescinded last Thursday while Apex village remains on evacuation.

READ MORE: Highway 3A reopens

The fire is currently stable along the western side of Highway 3A, and operational objectives remain mostly the same. On Aug. 10, an aerial infrared scan was completed in priority areas along the Highway 3 corridor and Green Mountain Road. Wildland firefighters and structural protection crews continue to locate and extinguish hotspots.

Northwest continues to be the most active section of the fire with suppression efforts challenged by steep terrain that is inaccessible.

Crews are also working to establish a hand guard between Keremeos Creek and along Green Mountain Road.

READ MORE: Evacuation alert rescinded on Richter Mountain fire

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

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B.C. Wildfires 2022

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