Skip to content

Crater Creek wildfire reaches 41,000 ha., crews continue to work on guards

The fire has crossed into the US.
The Crater Creek wildfire near Keremeos has been mapped at 41,000 hectares.

The BC Wildfire Service said the Crater Creek wildfire burning southwest of Keremeos is now mapped at 41,000 hectares in size.

Fire information Officer Casda Thomas said they have 40 personnel on site and that includes the structure protection personnel as well as multiple pieces of heavy equipment.

"So through the night, we did observe rank two to rank three so it's kind of that low to moderate vigorous surface fire throughout portions of the fire. Overnight growth was mainly along the west flank," she added.

Structural protection crews as well as the BCWS staff were on site overnight.

"Today crews will be working on guards and then kind of working off those guards and using water on the blackened edge of the fire," Thomas said.

"Crews will be working inwards and we also have line locators working to assess where future equipment guards would go on the north of the fire heading west."

Since the wildfire crossed the U.S. border on Saturday, BCWS said they have continued to work in collaboration with partners down south.

"Currently we do have quite a bit of smoke in the area, which is creating visibility challenges and challenging aerial resources and their ability to assess needs."

Crews worked along roads and existing guards along the west side of the drainage by the Pow Wow grounds and completed some small-scale hand ignition to clean up from the slope to the guard on Saturday.

These operations removed unburnt fuel and helped to minimize any potential spread out of the drainage.

Evacuation Alerts and Orders issued by the Upper Similkameen Indian Band, the Lower Similkameen Indian Band and the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) remain in place.

On Saturday, properties along Highway 3 between the Village of Keremeos and Hedley, were removed from evacuation order. Residents in Suncatchers RV Park, Lucky R Mobile Home Park, and Riverside RV Resort are welcome to go home. These properties do remain on evacuation alert.

Up-to-date RDOS orders and alerts can be found online here.

The Emergency Reception Centre at Princess Margaret Secondary located at 120 Green Avenue W. in Penticton is open on Sunday. The Emergency Reception Centre has been activated to provide Emergency Support Services (ESS) to all British Columbians whose primary residence is on Evacuation Order.