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Homes, livelihoods of hundreds in B.C. Interior threatened by wildfires

Vancouver, August 4: With six wildfires of note identified by the BC Wildfire Service, the Keremeos Creek blaze remains the largest in the province at an estimated 4,250 hectares.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen confirms nearly 500 properties, including the Apex Resort Village remain under an evacuation order, while another 324 properties are now on evacuation alert.

According to the BC Wildfire Service, the fire’s growth is due to both natural fire and planned ignitions, with the aim of bringing the blaze to a place where crews can fight it more easily.

The fire has been visible from Hwy 3A (between Keremeos and Kaleden), but has not impacted the highway. However, other parts of Hwy 3A were temporarily closed to accommodate fire crews in the area. The situation remains fluid, however, and drivers are urged to check Drive BC for updates.

As of Thursday morning, there were 64 active wildfires across the province. The number saw a significant drop from Wednesday’s 91.

All six wildfires of note are located in either the Kamloops or Southeast fire centres.

The Nohomin Creek wildfire, which is approximately 1.7 kilometres northwest of Lytton, has grown more than 500 hectares since Tuesday to an estimates size of 3,700 hectares. However, the BC Wildfire Service says the fire is spreading north of the Stein River and is contained in the Stein Valley Hertiage Park, moving away from any communities.

The Watching Creek wildfire, which is approximately 16 kilometres northwest of Kamloops, is an estimated 195 hectares. An evacuation alert is in place for some areas in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District. Recreation sites are closed in the area at Pass Lake.

The Briggs Creek wildfire, about 11.5 kilometres outside of Kaslo, is listed at an estimated 1,700 hectares. According to the BC Wildfire Service, the fire is spreading slowly at high elevation. Several properties in the Regional District of Central Kootenay are under evacuation alert.

The Maria Creek wildfire, not far from Pavilion, is an estimated 1,000 hectares. No evacuation alerts are in place in the area, and the fire has had no impacts on Hwy 97 or Hwy 99.

The Connell Ridge wildfire, which is about 15 kilometres south of Cranbrook, has grown to 630 hectares. The blaze is expected to increase due to high winds in the area reaching 25 km/h Thursday and into the evening. An evacuation alert is in place for six homes in the area.

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