Nk’Mip Creek wildfire near Osoyoos now at 6,800 hectares; 1 home lost

A new survey found the Nk"Mip Creek wildfire has more than tripled in size, and continues to threaten homes. As Paul Johnson reports, hundreds of animals were also evacuated from the path of the fire.

The Nk’Mip Creek wildfire ballooned in size on Friday following improved visibility that allowed accurate mapping.

According to the BC Wildfire Service, the out-of-control fire that’s burning near Osoyoos is now at 6,800 hectares — up from 2,000 hectares on Thursday.

Prior to Friday’s update, BC Wildfire officials told Global News that fire growth was expected, but could not predict how big because aerial attempts to map it were hampered by smoky skies.

Read more:

Regional district expands evacuation order for Nk’Mip Creek wildfire

“High temperatures and wind speeds have resulted in heightened wildfire activity and increased smoke,” BC Wildfire said on Friday.

BC Wildfire said there was significant fire spread to the north on Thursday towards Camp McKinney Road.

“Crews continued to work through the night to protect structures and critical infrastructure,” said BC Wildfire.

“Heavy equipment continues to be used to build fireguards. The terrain is steep and rocky in some areas which can limit the use of equipment.”

Several evacuation orders and alerts are in effect because of the wildfire.

To view a map of the evacuation orders and alerts, click here.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen said on Friday that permit access will not be granted to properties under evacuation order in Electoral Area A and C until the situation changes.

According to BC Wildfire, 80 personnel are on scene, a number that includes firefighters and the incident management team. Four helicopters and 15 pieces of heavy equipment are also fighting the fire.

Fire information officer Dani McIntosh said the fire has seen significant growth on the northeast and southern perimeters.

Regarding weather conditions, McIntosh said they’re expected to stay the same. However, she noted that winds from the north and northeast are increasing throughout the day, going from 15 km/h in the morning and peaking around 30 km/h at 4 p.m.

In other news, fire officials said a crew of 100 firefighters from Mexico is expected to arrive in the Oliver and Osoyoos area on July 25.

Officials also announced that one house has been lost to the fire, along with one camper, in the Shrike Hill area.

Officials also said there are discussions about evacuation alerts regarding Highway 3, but that there are no current plans to close it, though that could change.

 

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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