UPDATE: 7:30 p.m.
The more than 1,800-hectare Upper Park Pill Creek wildfire near Twin Lakes remains out of control but crews continue to make good progress, BC Wildfire Service said Friday night.
One day after evacuation orders for a total of 96 properties were lifted, crews say fire behaviour has been minimal throughout the day.
The blaze has seen no growth since there was an increase in fire behaviour on Aug. 22.
There is a risk of thunderstorms late Friday afternoon and onward, crews said.
Properties lifted from the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen’s evacuation order on Thursday remain on alert.
“Crews are continuing mop-up of previous back burning and are looking for opportunities to safely bring fire to guard,” an update from BCWS reads.
Cattle scattered in and around the fire ground remains a concern, they added.
The fire, located 13 kilometres northeast of Keremeos is still listed as out of control.
There are currently 70 firefighters on scene, down from the 77 that responded on Thursday.
The blaze represents one of two fires burning in the South Okanagan and Similkameen.
There are eight helicopters currently assigned to the Crater Complex, which includes the Twin Lakes blaze and the 44,000-hectare Crater Creek wildfire, located southwest of Keremeos.
Twin Lakes residents were delighted on Thursday night when the evacuation orders surrounding the Upper Park Rill Creek wildfire near Penticton were lifted.
The evacuation order has been rescinded at 7:30 p.m. for all 96 properties along Grand Oro Rd and the Yellow Brick Rd areas. Properties in the area will remain on alert. Willowbrook Roadd in the Yellow Brick Rd area will be opened to traffic.
The rescind is in effect for the following areas:
Electoral Area C including Yellowbrick Road, Orofino Creek Road, Ripley Lake and Madden Lake
Electoral Area I including Grand Oro and Grand Oro Branch Road
Electoral Area G including on Grand Oro Road
Favourable weather conditions have caused low fire activity in recent days. Because of this, the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen (RDOS) has been rescinded the order. Evacuation alerts remain and residents must be ready to leave at a moment’s notice. An interactive map showing current evacuation orders and alerts is available at emergency.rdos.bc.ca.
On Thursday, the fire received continued aviation support and crews executed small hand ignitions to reinforce guards and help with terrain. Wildfire crews also continue to use heavy machinery to battle the fire. Protection crews also remain on the scene for structures in the areas.
The size of the blaze remains at 1,830 hectares.
Wildfire crews continue to use heavy machinery to battle the fire and create machine guards and structure lines. Protection crews also remain on the scene for structures in the areas.
Transport Canada and the BC Wildfire Service prohibit the use of drones of any size near a wildfire. The operation of any aircraft not associated with fire suppression activities within a radius of five nautical miles around a fire, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or drones), is illegal. Anyone found interfering with wildfire control efforts may face penalties of up to $100,000 and or up to one year in jail.
Black Press Media will keep updated throughout the day.