Smoke filled skies as seen from Olalla, due to the nearby Keremeos Creek Wildfire. (BC Wildfire Service)

Smoke filled skies as seen from Olalla, due to the nearby Keremeos Creek Wildfire. (BC Wildfire Service)

Keremeos Creek Wildfire now over 5,900 hectares

There are over 500 properties on evacuation order due to the fire

As the Keremeos Creek Wildfire continues to burn, over 500 properties have been forced to evacuate, with many finding support in Penticton.

The fire has grown to over 5,903 hectares, with minimal overnight growth and the fire still on the north side of Olalla Creek and Sheep Creek Road.

Heavy winds made the fire more active on Thursday, leading to additional evacuation alerts and orders from the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen that night. The heavy smoke is also causing difficulties with using air resources on the fire.

So far across the two electoral areas of the RDOS that have been impacted, and the Village of Keremeos, there are 1,050 properties on evacuation alert.

Between electoral areas G and I in the RDOS, 547 properties have been ordered to evacuate.

Since the start of the wildfire, over 200 evacuees have received support at the Penticton reception centre at the Princess Margaret Secondary School.

In total, there have been 361 registrations as of 11 p.m. on August 4 with Emergency Support Services, which tracks families and not individuals.

READ MORE: Keremeos Creek Wildfire sees overnight fire action

Highway 3A is still closed from the junction with Highway 97 in Kaleden down to Keremeos due to the fire.

For people who have been evacuated, or will be evacuated in the future, there are multiple resources available including the Penticton reception centre:

• Emergency Support Services (ESS) can be contacted by phone at 250-328-8749

• Evacuee Registration & Assistance (ERA) can be reached online at ess.gov.bc.ca

• If you need transportation assistance, you can call 250-490-4225

• If you have animals that need assistance, you can contact ALERT (Animal Lifeline Emergency Response Team) at 250-809-7152

The RDOS is also reminding residents that it is not too late to reduce the risk of damage by making properties FireSmart.

Heavy water use can also negatively impact smaller water systems and could hinder firefighting efforts and residents are asked not to leave sprinklers running.

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

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