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UPDATE: Nk'Mip Creek wildfire grows again, BCWS waiting on new estimate

(UPDATE: July 28 @ 12:30 pm) - There has been more growth at the Nk'Mip Creek wildfire

BC Wildfire Service said it has requested aerial mapping to determine the fire's new size.

Because of smoke and the fire's behaviour, however, it has not yet been possible to complete the process.

BCWS's last estimate had the fire at 6,800 hectares.

The agency said it expects "persistent hot and dry conditions" at the fire.

Work continues to be done to clear away unburnt fuel and fell danger trees in the north, BCWS said.

"By removing available fuels from within home ignition zones and around facilities, fires are less likely to impact interface areas," the agency explained.

Structure protection work is also ongoing around the Anarchist Mountain community.

BCWS added; "Crews are constructing and reinforcing hand guard to tie into machine guards on the fires south edge and eastward.

"There was a small excursion over the fire guard near Bullmoose Rd which crews are working to contain."

It is still unknown what caused the fire, which remains out of control.

In its last update, BCWS said it has 134 firefighters at the scene.

They are supported by five helicopters, 26 pieces of heavy equipment and 46 structure protection personnel.

For the latest evacuation information, head here and here.


(UPDATE: July 27 @ 12:30 pm) - Fire activity calmed down somewhat at the Nk'Mip Creek wildfire yesterday.

BC Wildfire Service said the blaze, still out of control and measuring over 6,800 hectares, was "moderate" on Monday, "with mostly surface fire and some trees torching."

"The fire was still active but not as challenging as previous days," the agency added.

"Heavy equipment was able to make good progress on the eastern cat guard. Firefighting personnel and heavy equipment were on site overnight to protect structures in/near Shrike subdivision again; however, fire behaviour was less intense than previous operational periods."

Part of the plan for today is to assess danger trees near Shrike Hill, BCWS said.

<who> Photo credit: BCWS

"Crews will continue to patrol and mop up around Shrike and northern Nk'Mip Rd, burning off any unburnt fuel, reinforcing existing guards and extinguishing hotspots," the wildfire service explained.

The Mt. Baldy area will also be assessed for the potential need for structure protection, BCWS added.

A separate team will continue the work to protect buildings in the Anarchist Mountain area.

"Patrols and mop up continue around Spirit Ridge on the fire's southern perimeter and along southern Nk'Mip Rd," BCWS added.

"Crews are constructing and reinforcing hand guard to tie into machine guards on the fires south edge and eastward."

BCWS warned of more growth at the fire in the coming days as the weather remains hot and dry.

The agency said: "Fire growth has been observed but due to smoke conditions and fire behaviour, a track has not been able to be completed."

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, meanwhile, has rescinded an evacuation order for 28 parcels that was issued on July 24.

They are now on evacuation alert.

See more here.


(UPDATE: July 26 @ 5:40 pm) - The Nk'Mip fire has seen growth over the last couple of days, but an accurate track has not been able to be completed due to fire behaviour and smoke conditions.

Firefighting personnel and heavy equipment will continue to work overnight to protect structures in and near the Shrike subdivision. Winds, persistent low relative humidity values and high temperatures have led to increased fire activity late into the evenings.

Division A is mopping up and continuing to FireSmart structures by removing available fuels from within home ignition zones. Patrol work will continue along/near Nk'Mip Rd area for hot spots.

Division Z is continuing structure protection near the Anarchist Mountain community, and crews will also mop up and patrol around Spirit Ridge on the fire's southern perimeter.

A line locator will prepare for building a new machine guard on the fire's east flank in the Mt Baldy and Sidley Meadow areas, aiming to connect with the ongoing construction of the southern machine guard.

The fire remains out of control at an estimated 6,800 hectares.


(UPDATE: July 26 @ 8:11 am) - The Nk'Mip Creek wildfire displayed "aggressive and challenging" behaviour on Sunday as fresh reinforcements arrived from overseas.

It remains at 6,800 hectares and out of control.

Crews continued their efforts to protect buildings in and around the Shrike area.

<who> Photo credit: BCWS

"Fire behaviour continues to be aggressive and challenging as conditions remain hot and dry," BC Wildfire Service explained.

But it added that 100 firefighters arrived from Mexico to help stretched teams contain the province's wildfires.

Their first working day, BCWS added, will be Monday.

For the latest evacuation information, head here and here.

In its most recent update, BCWS said it had 43 firefighters, five helicopters and 46 pieces of heavy equipment deployed at the fire.

See NowMedia's latest photo gallery for this fire here.


(UPDATE: July 24 @ 2:30 pm) - Crews continue to battle the Nk'Mip Creek blaze on Saturday.

It is still mapped at 6,800 hectares, though improved visibility has helped with fire suppression.

"Crews worked through the night to protect structures in/near Shrike subdivision. A 20-person unit crew arrived last night and their first day on the fireline is today."

"Today, crews are continuing suppression action and structure protection work on the north and south edges of the fire. Division A is patrolling and monitoring the north edge and west flank, looking for hot spots."

A total of 146 firefighters, five helicopters and 41 pieces of heavy equipment are on scene today.

NowMedia will update the story when more is available.

(UPDATE: July 23 @ 6:00 pm) - BCWS has confirmed that yesterday there was significant fire spread to the north towards Camp McKinney Road.

Crews worked throughout the night to protect structures and critical infrastructure. Heavy equipment continues to be used to build fire guards, but the terrain is steep and rocky in some areas which can limit the use of equipment.

The RDKB has announced that the evacuation centre that was set up in Grand Forks, has now been moved to the Boundary Expo Recreation Centre at 734 seventh ave, in the Village of Midway. Evacuees who have not yet registered can do so there or online here.

Fire crews have been working hard to FireSmart properties and they are removing available fuels, aiming to reduce the risk of the fire impacting interface areas.


(UPDATE: July 23 @ 12:35 pm) – BC Wildfire Service has completed its mapping of the Nk'Mip Creek wildfire and estimated it to have trebled in size.

The fire's estimated size had previously lingered at 2,000 hectares due to limited visibility, but it's now up to 6,800.

BCWS said the fire remains out of control.

<who> Photo credit: BCWS </who> The fire's perimeter as of Friday.

The agency added: "High temperatures and wind speeds have resulted in heightened wildfire activity and increased smoke. Today, the fire is estimated at 6,800 hectares.

"This increase in size is due to improved visibility from the air."

The fire's cause remains under investigation.

<who> Photo credit: NowMedia

In its latest update, BCWS said it had 73 personnel at the site alongside four helicopters and 15 pieces of heavy equipment.


(UPDATE: July 23 @ 8:40 am) – There has been "significant growth" in the Nk'Mip Creek wildfire, BC Wildfire Service said this morning.

Due to limited visibility, however, the agency has struggled to accurately map the fire's size.

"High temperatures and wind speeds have resulted in heightened wildfire activity and increased smoke," BCWS said.

Firefighters also said there was "significant fire spread" in the north yesterday, towards Camp McKinney Road.

"Crews continued to work through the night to protect structures and critical infrastructure," BCWS explained.

"Heavy equipment continues to be used to build fire guards. The terrain is steep and rocky in some areas which can limit the use of equipment."

The fire continues to show "aggressive" behaviour and is proving "challenging" for crews," the agency added.

It remains out of control and its cause is still being investigated.

In the last update, BCWS said there are 73 personnel fighting the fire, alongside four helicopters and 15 pieces of heavy equipment.


(UPDATE: July 23 @ 5:45 am) – More properties have been evacuated as the Nk'Mip Creek wildfire continues to burn.

The Osoyoos Indian Band last night issued an expanded evacuation order for dozens of properties.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia</who>

Evacuees were urged to register at the Oliver Royal Canadian Legion 97, at 36217 Main Street in Oliver, or online at ess.gov.bc.ca.

Yesterday afternoon, meanwhile, the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen issued a separate evacuation order for dozens more properties.

BC Wildfire Service is yet to provide updated information about the fire's true size.


(UPDATE: July 22 @ 2:45 pm) - The troublesome Nk'Mip Creek wildfire north of Osoyoos has grown, but it's unknown how much at this time.

"Smoke in the area is making it difficult to get an accurate map of the fire perimeter," explained the BC Wildfire Service.

"Crews witnessed increased fire behaviour through the evening and overnight after strong winds in the area."

For now, the size estimate remains at 2,000 hectares.


Although there's no updated size estimate at this time, crews continue to work feverishly to bring the interface fire under control.

Today's objectives included bucketing helicopters targeting certain area with water, while heavy equipment worked on a machine guard on the fire's eastern flank.

Evacuation orders remain in place from the Osoyoos Indian Band, Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen and Regional District of Kootenay Boundary, and search and rescue crews have been assisting the RCMP in executing tactical evacuations.


AIM Roads also reports that the increased fire activity has resulted in the closure of Hwy 3 east of Osoyoos at Anarchist Mountain, but the closure has not been confirmed by DriveBC.

There are currently 14 BCWS firefighting personnel assigned to the blaze along with three helicopters and an incident management team took command of the fire today.


(UPDATE: July 21 @ 2:50 pm): The Nk’Mip is still estimated to be around 2,000 hectares, but heavy smoke has made it difficult to gather an accurate scale.

According to BCWS there has been very limited growth, which could be an additional 100-200 hectares over the past 24 hours.

Success has been made overnight to some flanks of the fire, as there are 37 personnel working alongside five helicopters, and 13 pieces of heavy equipment.

Ground crews have been working mainly on the west flank, to protect nearby communities, and a sprinkler system is currently being installed around some of the homes in the Shrike Hill area.

A windy afternoon is expected, which crews are preparing for a potential change in direction of the fire.

An incident management team from out of province is now in the fire zone, preparing to take over and provide additional support and resources.

Evacuation orders remain in place for numerous properties by the Osoyoos Indian Band, the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) has issued an order for 122 properties in electoral area E/West boundary, and the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDCO) has issued an order for electoral area A and C.

“Anyone who is in an evacuation order area should not be there. We’ve had numerous instances over numerous fires in our region where evacuation orders have been issued and residents have refused to leave,” said Dale Bojara spokesperson for BCWS. “Everyone needs to understand that's a very dangerous situation, and they could find themselves in a situation where fire activity is such that our crews have to be pulled out and they will be on their own.”

Evacuation Alerts still remain in place for areas by the Osoyoos Indian Band, RDCO, and RDKB.

“It may be unlikely that we are able to make a rescue, and it's also important to remember that if we are attempting a rescue we are putting our own firefighters at great risk to go and remove people that should not be there in the first place, and they're taking valuable time and energy away from suppressing the fire,” said Borara.

BCWS objectives for today include building a machine guard between Camp McKinney and Bull Moose Road.


(UPDATE: July 21 @ 5:04 am): More people have been ordered to evacuate in response to the Nk'Mip Creek wildfire.

The fire is still listed as 2,000 hectares in size but the BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) is yet to provide a morning update.

Last night, the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) declared a state of local emergency in in the Electoral Area E/West Boundary area because the fire was moving east.

<who> Photo credit: BCWS

The RDKB ordered 122 homes to evacuate their homes immediately and put another 304 properties on alert.

The order and alert were issued "in advance of a forecast for increased winds," the regional district explained.

“We have issued these orders and alerts because BC Wildfire has informed us of the potential for a change in the prevailing winds that could push the wildfire to burn more in a southeasterly direction into dry fuels,” said Mark Stephens, EOC director.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble </who>

To access evacuation information from the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS), head here.

In its most recent update, the BCWS said there were 12 firefighters, two helicopters and other machinery involved in fighting the fire.

It remains out of control and its cause is still being investigated.


(UPDATE: July 20 @ 8:00pm): The Nk'Mip Creek wildfire is still estimated to be around 2,000 hectares.

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) has declared a state of local emergency (SOLE) in Electoral Area E/West Boundary due to the Nk’Mip Creek wildfire’s advance eastward.

The RDKB has ordered residents at 122 addresses to evacuate their properties immediately and has placed a further 304 properties on evacuation alert in advance of a forecast for increased winds.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) has issued also issued a SOLE as there is a potential threat to life and property in Electoral Area A, but only an evacuation alert remains in place.

As of the last update there are 12 firefighters on scene, with two helicopters, as well as air tankers dropping retardant.

NowMedia will continue to update the story as more information is provided.


(UPDATE: July 20 @ 4:10 pm): The Nk'Mip Creek wildfire north of Osoyoos has grown to 2,000 hectares.

In a briefing this afternoon, officials said that the fire is experiencing rank three activity, although it's primarily moving upslope.

Crews have been focusing a lot of their energy on the west and southwest flanks of the fire, as those are the spots that pose the greatest risk to communities.

Winds are playing a large factor in the fire's growth.

They moved in from the south on Monday night, which helped the fire move six kilometres in only a few hours.

Today, they shifted and were coming in from the north, which is why the Town of Osoyoos issued an evacuation alert for a number of properties in the community.

It affects all properties north of Hwy 3, east of Cottonwood Drive and west of 45th Street.

Separate evacuation orders and alerts also remain in place from the Osoyoos Indian Band and Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.

No structures have been lost at this time.

An incident management team is en route to the area and will assume control of fire operations soon.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia


(UPDATE: July 20 @ 1 pm): The Town of Osoyoos has issued an evacuation alert to a number of properties in the community.

It affects all properties north of Hwy 3, east of Cottonwood Drive and west of 45th Street.

The Town of Osoyoos said it was necessary to issue the order "because of the potential danger to life, property and health" due to the Nk'Mip Creek/Inkaneep Creek wildfire.

BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) continues to battle the blaze with firefighters, helicopters and planes.

It remains at 1,100 hectares in size.

No cause has yet been determined and it is still classed as out of control.

Alerts and orders previously issued in relation to the fire remain in place.

FortisBC said about 30 customers are still without power after last night's outage.

<who> Photo credit: Town of Osoyoos </who> The new evacuation alert.

The energy provider also asked customers to reduce their electricity use during peak hours (between 4 pm and 8 pm).

"The wildfire has forced us to de-energize parts of our electricity system," FortisBC explained.

"While the system is still stable, we may be operating on the upper end of our limits on our system today."

FortisBC recommends reducing energy by doing the following:

  • Cooking outdoors on barbecues tonight if possible [this advice may contradict guidance from BCWS and Environment Canada]
  • Washing dishes by hand or setting the timers on dishwashers to run in the middle of the night
  • Running laundry later in the evening
  • Reducing air conditioning use

Learn more here.

The Town of Osoyoos warned those issued with alerts to:

  • Locate all family members and designate a meeting area outside the evacuation area, should an evacuation order be called while separated
  • Pack essential items such as government-issued ID, medications, eyeglasses, valuable papers (e.g. insurance, credit, and mortgage information), immediate care needs for dependents and, if time and space permits, keepsakes for quick departure
  • Prepare to move disabled persons, children and/or neighbours, if assistance is needed
  • Prepare to take pets with you and move livestock to a safe area (if possible)
  • Arrange transportation for all your household members. Fill the gas tanks of personal vehicles. If transportation assistance is needed, call 250.498.7752
  • Arrange accommodation for all members of the residence, if possible
  • Wait for an Evacuation Order to be issued before evacuating. Monitor osoyoos.ca for information on evacuation orders and location of Reception Centres

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, meanwhile, has promised to provide more information at 2 pm this afternoon.

To watch the briefing, head here.


(UPDATE: July 20 @ 10:22 am): The fire has grown again.

BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) said the blaze is now up to 1,100 hectares.

The agency has also renamed the fire once again – this time to Nk'Mip Creek.

The below video contains coarse language.

Evacuation orders and alerts issued by the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) and the Osoyoos Indian Band remain in effect.

The fire is still out of control and its cause remains under investigation.

In its latest update, BCWS said it had 12 firefighters, five helicopters and other machinery at the site.

Oliver Landfill will remain closed until further notice, RDOS said.

Osoyoos Landfill will accept material from Oliver until the reopening.

Boaters, meanwhile, are reminded to avoid Osoyoos Lake so firefighting aircraft can collect water safely.


(UPDATE: July 20 @ 5:30 am): The fire is now up to 700 hectares.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) has issued an evacuation order and alert for dozens of properties around Oliver and Osoyoos.

The district has also declared a state of local emergency due to the "potential threat to life and property" caused by the fire.

It will stay in place until at least July 26.

The fire remains out of control and no cause has yet been determined.

<who> Photo credit: BCWS

BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) said in its most recent update late last night that it had 12 firefighters and five helicopters at the scene.

"Air tankers completed all objectives, dropping retardant on the west flank of the fire closest to homes," BCWS explained.

"Firefighters also worked the west flank, and personnel will remain on site overnight."

Power was cut to thousands of homes in Oliver and Osoyoos last night so crews could safely work on the fire, but the vast majority of homes have now had their power restored.

BCWS advises residents to check with their power providers for more information about outages.


(UPDATE: July 19 @ 6:30 pm): The wildfire between Osoyoos and Oliver is now named the Inkaneep Creek fire.

BCWS has confirmed that aggressive fire behaviour has now shot the size up to an estimated 300 hectares.

There has been significant ash fall for the past hour reaching as far as Penticton, as the sky has gone completely dark.

</who>Photo credit: NowMedia

FortisBC has confirmed that power has been disrupted for over 3000 customers at the request of Oliver and Osoyoos emergency services.

NowMedia will continue to update the story as more information is provided.


(Original story: July 19 @ 5:20 pm): The wildfire has been titled the Black Sage Road wildfire, and is currently considered out of control.

BC Wildfire Services (BCWS) estimates the wildfire to be around 60 hectares as this is still an emerging situation.

There are currently personnel on route as well as an aircraft to help assist in battling the fire.

Eye witnesses are sharing pictures on social media of a large plume of black smoke coming from the mountain.

BCWS says it is currently ranking as high, at a four or five on behaviour.

NowMedia will update information as it is provided.



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