The Crater Creek wildfire has forced an evacuation order for the following areas, Electoral Area “G” along the Similkameen River on the west side of Highway 3 from 3675 Highway 3 to 4355 Highway 3.
The evacuation order area includes Suncatchers RV Park, Riverside MH Park and Lucky R MH Park.
An Emergency Reception Centre has been activated at 199 Ellis Street in Penticton for residents under evacuation order.
The list of properties under the evacuation order include:
3675 HIGHWAY 3
3975 HIGHWAY 3
4121 HIGHWAY 3
All units within the Sunkatchers RV Park at 4155 Highway 3
All units within the Lucky R MH Park at 4414 Highway 3
All units within the Riverside MH Park at 4354 Highway 3
The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen issued the order at about 4:15 p.m.
With increased winds expected on Thursday, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is advising residents and property owners in and around the Crater Creek wildfire to prepare for any possible evacuations.
The wildfire, south of Keremeos is now more than 14,000 hectares in size, a growth of about 4,000 hectares from its previous estimates the day before, on Aug. 16.
The Upper Similkameen Indian Band also issued an evacuation alert for all of the Chuchuwayha 2 Reserve, and all properties on both sides of Highway 3 from Rustic Campin north to 5971 Highway 3.
The RDOS added three more properties to the list of 74 previously under alert as well.
In the RDOS 13 properties were ordered to evacuate, and 31 properties were ordered to evacuate by the Lower Similkameen Indian Band.
Wildfire activity is expected to increase dramatically across the province over the next 24 hours as a cold front pushes down from the north, bringing with it high winds and potential dry lightning.
With the increased winds the RDOS Emergency Operations Centre is recommending residents and property owners in the Similkameen and all areas of the Regional District prepare an emergency grab-and-go kit, prepare options to stay with friends and family outside the area and conduct last minute Fire Smart checklists of their properties.
The steep terrain continues to be a challenge for firefighting efforts, but the BC Wildfire Service has now deployed 37 ground personnel and multiple pieces of heavy equipment to the blaze.
Aerial resources are also assigned to the fire, but due to the heavy smoke have been only able to provide limited periods of support when visibility allows.
The full lists of RDOS evacuation orders and alerts can be found on emergency.rdos.bc.ca.
An Emergency Support Services (ESS) Reception Centre has been activated at the Village of Keremeos Victory Hall at 427 7th Ave.
All residents on evacuation orders are asked to register at the ESS Reception Centre. Residents on evacuation alert or order can call ESS at 250-486-1890 for further information.
People concerned about evacuees are asked to call the RDOS Emergency Operations Centre at 250-490-4225.
Residents on evacuation alerts and orders, or who have been displaced from their homes due to the emergency, are asked to self-register for ESS through Evacuee Registration & Assistance (ERA): ess.gov.bc.ca
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