The Keremeos Creek wildfire has increased in size by 100 hectares due to wind at high elevations and a pair of planned ignitions, BC Wildfire Service said in an update Saturday afternoon, Aug. 20.
The now 7,042-hectare blaze continues to be driven by wind after about one week of no growth.
Though the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen rescinded all evacuation orders on Wednesday, Aug 17, the fire is still considered active and crews are anticipating winds to increase on Saturday and Sunday due to the risk of thunderstorms.
“In many areas, forest fuels at high elevations are green and the moisture content is preventing ignition and spread,” BCWS wrote. “Dead and fallen trees continue to burn at high elevations, on steep slopes.”
The fire is currently stable along the western side of Highway 3A, they added.
Following the conclusion of the South Okanagan’s latest heat warning on Saturday morning, crews said they expect cooler temperatures with moderate humidity throughout the day.
North of Olalla Creek Road, crews are establishing a fuel-free hose lay and extinguishing identified hot spots.
“Mop up and patrol continues throughout the Western flank of the fire, and along the Green Mountain Road where there is minimal fire activity,” BCWS explained.
All structure protection equipment has been demobilized.
There are currently 185 firefighters assigned to work the blaze.
BCWS is reminding residents that smoke will continue to be visible from Highway 3A and surrounding communities.