Calls pouring in about column of smoke rising from fire southwest of Keremeos



A menacing column of smoke visible from points across the Okanagan  can be attributed to increased activity within the Crater Creek wildfire, burning about 18 kilometres southwest of Keremeos.

The highly visible formation of smoke, which increased in size and bulk throughout the early evening, prompted many calls to the wildfire service tip line, Kyla Preto, a BC Wildfire Service information officer said Tuesday night.

The Crater Creek wildfire has been burning for the better part of a month, meaning wildfire officials were aware of  it, though Preto said the calls are appreciated.

Click to play video: 'Kamloops Fire Centre update'

Kamloops Fire Centre update

The fire, mapped at 697 hectares, and the Gillanders Creek wildfire, mapped at 480 ha, are burning in steep and dangerous terrain, “challenging response efforts and posing a significant risk to responder safety on the ground,” BC Wildfire said.

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Based on current and forecast weather conditions for this week, the Regional District of the Okanagan Similkameen issued an  evacuation alert within the vicinity of these two fires as a precautionary measure.

The alert covers 12 properties in Electoral Areas “B” and “G”, effective Tuesday, Aug. 15, at 5 p.m.

“The alert covers the area along the Ashnola River in the Cathedral Provincial Park including Cathedral Lakes Lodge and the Snowy Protected Area,” the regional district said.

BC Wildfire is taking a cautious approach to the firefight in the meantime.

“Responder safety remains the top priority of the BC Wildfire Service,” BC Wildfire said in a message posted about the fire Tuesday night.

“Due to the hazard posed by the very steep terrain at this location, crews assigned to this fire are working only where it is safe to do so, and a Modified Response approach will be taken.”


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