More evacuation orders issued as Keremeos Creek wildfire grows | Canadian

More people are being ordered to vacate their homes as the Keremeos Creek wildfire, situated around 20 km outside Penticton, B.C., spreads past previous boundaries.

The Regional District of the Okanagan Similkameen issued another evacuation order Thursday afternoon, this time applying to 38 homes south of Ollalla and on the west side of Highway 3A in Olalla.

Read more:

Keremeos Creek wildfire mapped at 4,250 hectares following planned ignitions

These are in addition to the 324 properties already on evacuation order and 479 properties on evacuation alert. Also, the Penticton Indian Band has issued an evacuation alert for 11 properties.

Members of the RCMP will be on scene expediting the order.

Jake Ryan was evacuated from his home along Highway 3A two days ago.

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He said someone banged on his door and gave him a notice saying he had to leave.

“I’m not really feeling anything, I’m just a little apprehensive about what’s happening here,” he told Global News.

Click to play video: 'Some residents near Keremeos Creek wildfire vow to stay behind'

Some residents near Keremeos Creek wildfire vow to stay behind

Some residents near Keremeos Creek wildfire vow to stay behind

He said he thinks the fire is on the other side of the hill where there is a big open field and about 160 acres of hay.

The seven-year resident said the fires in the area a few years ago seemed worse, but living in the fire zone he said is always a concern.

“I don’t think you ever expect it to come close but it’s one of those things that you have in the back of your mind that you’re worried about,” he said.

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Ryan has been staying with a friend in Keremeos since leaving his home behind.

“I said to the search and rescue guy ‘do I have to leave?’ And he said to me ‘well, you’re an adult, you can choose whatever you want to do’ but he said, and he pointed to the RCMP guys out here and he said ‘those guys are willing to assist you off the property’.”

Click to play video: 'Cooler weather helping Keremeos Creek wildfire fight'

Cooler weather helping Keremeos Creek wildfire fight

Cooler weather helping Keremeos Creek wildfire fight

In its most recent update, BC Wildfire estimated the fire at around 4,250 hectares and said that downslope winds in excess of 30 km/h drove fire downhill Wednesday night along Highway 3A south towards Olalla.

“Crews worked through the night on structure defense around the Cedar Creek drainage and kept fire on the west side of Highway 3A,” they said in the update.

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“Crews reported rank 4 fire behaviour through the overnight periods. Wind and slope continue to be the biggest contributing factors for increased fire behaviour.”

Read more:

B.C.’s Interior counts 6 wildfires of note currently burning

The Olalla Creek Forest Service Road is closed. This closure is in support of the suppression efforts of the Keremeos Creek wildfire.

There are 137 wildland firefighters assigned to this fire working with an additional 115 structural protection personnel from fire departments across B.C. for a total crew complement of 252 firefighters.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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