UPDATE: 2 p.m.:
The more than 22,000-hectare Crater Creek wildfire south of Keremeos is seeing significant fire behaviour Friday afternoon, Aug. 18.
A total of 19 properties remain on evacuation order, according to an afternoon update from the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.
Another 189 properties within the RDOS are under evacuation alert.
Shaelee Stearns from BC Wildfire Service says structure protection personnel are currently on scene.
Eight personnel responded Friday, with multiple pieces of heavy equipment.
“Additional aircraft will be available as there are achievable objections that are identified,” Stearns said. “Visibility with the smoke has definitely been a general theme and it’s something that will continue to be considered with this.”
Visibility is expected to remain a challenge for crews through Friday evening.
Stearns says crews are fighting “rank three” fire behaviour on the southwest flanks and “rank four” fire behaviour on the southeast corner.
“We are seeing significant fire behaviour still and that’s earlier in the day when we’re not in our peak burning window.”
Residents on and off evacuation alerts should be prepared to leave their properties on short notice, the RDOS said.
“Especially with the wind and hot, dry conditions, we’re just seeing these fires moving at such an alarming pace that we can not keep up at times,” said Brittany Seibert, emergency services manager at the RDOS.
An emergency reception centre was activated in Penticton on Friday morning for evacuees of the fire. It is located at 199 Ellis Street.
Volunteers from Penticton’s Emergency Support Services team are currently accommodating those impacted by the blaze.
People needing immediate support must register in person, the city’s ESS team said.
The Crater Creek Wildfire south of Keremeos grew again overnight to more than 22,000 hectares.
As of Friday morning, Aug. 18, 189 properties in the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen are under evacuation alert, and 19 are under evacuation order.
The properties under order include multiple trailer parks that were told to evacuate on Thursday evening.
The Upper Similkameen Indian Band also issued an evacuation alert for all of the Chuchuwayha 2 Reserve, and all properties on both sides of Highway 3 from Rustic Campin north to 5971 Highway 3.
An Emergency Reception Centre has been activated at 199 Ellis St. in Penticton for residents under evacuation order.
The fire continues to burn in steep terrain, challenging the response efforts by BC Wildfire Service crews.
Visibility on the fire remains hampered by the thick smoke, which has made aerial support hold until there are clear opportunities.
Heavy equipment and structural protection crews are also assigned to the fire.
The full lists of RDOS evacuation orders and alerts can be found on emergency.rdos.bc.ca.
All residents on evacuation orders are asked to register at the ESS Reception Centre. Residents on evacuation alert or order can call ESS at
People concerned about evacuees are asked to call the RDOS Emergency Operations Centre at
Residents on evacuation alerts and orders, or who have been displaced from their homes due to the emergency, are asked to self-register for ESS through Evacuee Registration & Assistance (ERA): ess.gov.bc.ca
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