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Twin Lakes wildfire considered ‘held,’ crews continue to fight blaze south of Keremeos

Crater Creek wildfire remains ‘out of control’; 13 properties still on evacuation order
The Upper Park Rill Creek wildfire is now considered “held,” as of Friday, Sept. 1. (BC Wildfire Service)

The more than 1,900-hectare Twin Lakes wildfire is no longer out of control.

BC Wildfire Service said the Upper Park Rill Creek wildfire was considered “held,” as of late Friday night, Sept. 1.

The blaze’s status was downgraded due to the “extensive work carried out by firefighters, heavy equipment, and aviation support,” BCWS says.

A total of 96 properties, along Grand Oro Road and the Yellow Brick Road areas within the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen remain on evacuation alert.

Crews will continue to look for and extinguish hotspots over the coming days, BCWS said in an update.

“The fire has burnt through heavy fuels and forest duff layers which can smolder for long periods even after substantial rain.”

Sunny skies with cloudy periods remain in the forecast for Saturday, Sept. 2, with temperatures expected to reach highs of between 20 and 24 C.

A total of 40 firefighters from Mexico arrived to fight the blaze Thursday, Aug. 31, and there are currently 48 on scene as of Saturday.

“Crews will again today be walking the line with an aim to blackout, mop up and deepen guards,” BCWS said.

The Crater Creek wildfire located 18 kilometres southwest of Keremeos, meanwhile, continues to burn out of control at more than 46,500 hectares.

Several hotspots were identified overnight, following the placement of drone flights.

Crews will spend the rest of Saturday targeting those areas, BCWS said.

There are currently 13 properties, along Ashnola Road and Ewart Creek Road within the RDOS, on evacuation order.

An additional 74 properties are on evacuation alert.

The RDOS confirmed on Tuesday, Aug. 29, that homes were damaged or destroyed as a result of the Crater Creek wildfire.

“The RDOS is in the process of notifying property owners to confirm damaged or destroyed structures,” the district reminded people Saturday. “If you own or manage property along Ashnola Road or Ewart Creek Road, please contact the RDOS Emergency Operations Centre for further information about the condition of your property and available support at 250-490-4225.”

The emergency reception centre at 199 Ellis Street in Penticton is closed as of Friday, Sept. 1, 2023. Residents on order are asked to call 250-486-1890 for ESS Services.

Cathedral Lake Lodge structure protection equipment was taken out of service yesterday in consultation with BC Parks, BCWS said.

On Saturday evening, crews will continue to look for and extinguish hotspots.

BCWS says recreational users have recently accessed the restricted fire ground, which has prompted the need for conservation officers to undertake patrols through the Labour Day long weekend.

An area restriction has been implemented within the Crater Creek wildfire area. This order remains in effect until Sept. 8, 2023, or until it is rescinded.

Between the Upper Park Rill Creek and Crater Creek wildfire, there are seven helicopters on scene.

READ MORE: Shuswap wildfire fighters continue to battle temperatures and wind


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