UPDATE: Nk'Mip Creek wildfire no longer be considered a wildfire of note

NowMedia Staff | September 4, 2021 in Wildfire

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(UPDATE: Sept. 4 @ 4 pm) – The Nk’Mip Creek wildfire will no longer be considered a wildfire of note, effective Sept. 4th.

BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) classifies wildfires of note as being “highly visible or which pose a potential threat to public safety.”

The agency estimates that the fire has burned an estimated 19,335 hectares.

On Thursday, Sept. 2, the Regional Districts of Kootenay Boundary and Okanagan-Similkameen rescinded the final evacuation alerts issued for this fire.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

BCWS confirms that “significant progress has been made on the containment of the Nk’Mip wildfire.”

There are 56 personnel and nine pieces of heavy equipment assigned to the fire, with five helicopters and an incident management team available through the Okanagan Complex.

Crews continue to directly attack the fire’s edge and suppress any hotspots they come across.


(UPDATE: Sept. 2 @ 3 pm) - The Nk'Mip Creek wildfire near Osoyoos continues to be classified as out of control, burning at 20,066 hectares.

However, improved conditions of late have helped crews get a handle on the fire and push it closer to 'held' or 'under control' status.

It certainly has to be nearing that point, as the final evacuation alerts for the fire were rescinded by the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary and Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen today.

“We are grateful to residents for their understanding, patience and cooperation during what has been a stressful event,” said Mark Stephens, the RDKB's emergency operation centre director.

The west side of the fire remains inactive as crews continue to work directly on suppression efforts to the east and north.

"Crews continue to target hot spots, located by thermal imaging scans and patrol areas that have seen suppression activities already," said the latest BC Wildfire Service update.

At this time, 61 personnel, nine pieces of heavy equipment and a small handful of helicopters shared within the Okanagan complex are assigned to the Nk'Mip Creek wildfire.


(UPDATE: Aug. 31 @ 11:20 am) – BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) is welcoming the “slight downturn” in the weather today.

The cooler temperatures and chance of showers should provide that boost of help crews need to make additional progress on the containment of the Nk’Mip Creek wildfire.

Since the fire was discovered on July 19, it has burned an estimated 20,066 hectares.

However, the cause remains under investigation.

There are 59 personnel, 10 pieces of heavy equipment and an incident management team on site.

Crews are supported by the 8 helicopters available through the Okanagan Complex.

BCWS is still considering the western flank to be inactive due to successful suppression efforts and crews continue to patrol the area.

Resources have moved on to the northern and eastern flanks of the fire where they will directly attack the fire’s perimeter.

Small ignitions were utilized to reinforce guards along the eastern flank, closest to the Mount Baldy area.

If conditions allow, crews may engage in more small-scale hand ignitions to remove unburned fuel and make the perimeter more accessible for direct attacks.

There have been no changes to evacuation alerts issued by the Regional Districts of Kootenay Boundary or Okanagan-Similkameen.

Photo Credit: BCWS


(UPDATE: Aug. 30 @ 10:20 am) – The Nk’Mip Creek wildfire was discovered on July 19 and continues to burn out of control at 20,066 hectares.

According to BC Wildfire Service’s (BCWS) morning update there are 67 personnel, 15 pieces of heavy equipment and seven helicopters on site.

The wildfire agency confirms that “good progress” is being made on the fire.

BCWS reports that the western flank is “inactive at this time.”

Crews have been moved from this area to the northern and eastern flanks of the fire where direct attack methods will be utilized.

BCWS explains that small scale planned ignitions have strengthened the fire guards on the eastern flank near the Mount Baldy area.

If conditions remain favourable, more small scale ignitions could occur today.

Patrol and mop up operations are ongoing in areas where suppression efforts have already occurred.

An evacuation alert remains in place for 157 properties in the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary electoral area “E” (West Boundary).

A portion of properties north of Osoyoos in the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen remains on evacuation alert.

Visit the interactive map or rdos.bc.ca for more details.


(UPDATE: Aug. 29 @ 1:45 pm) – BC Wildfire Service is attributing rainfall, cooler temperatures and higher humidity to the limited growth of the Nk’Mip Creek wildfire.

The fire remains at an estimated 20,066 hectares.

There are 90 personnel, 27 pieces of heavy equipment, four helicopters available and an incident management team on site.

Yesterday, Aug.28, additional crews from Mexico completed their first day helping out with the fire suppression effort.

A thermal scan was conducted overnight on Friday, Aug.27 to locate hotspots.

This weekend crews have focused their efforts at attacking those spots and creating fire guards.

Photo Credit: BCWS

On the western and eastern flanks, crews continue to extinguish along the fire’s perimeter as they work their way inwards.

Crews on the northern flank will be patrolling and securing the fire guards established in the area.

On the eastern flank, small planned ignitions took place to reinforce guards around the excursion near Mount Baldy.

There have been no changes to evacuation notices issued by the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary since an evacuation order was downgraded to an alert on Monday, Aug.23.

An evacuation alert was downgraded to all clear on Aug.20 for properties in the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen and there have not been any further changes to evacuation notices.


(UPDATE: Aug. 27 @ 3:53 pm) - Cold temperatures and high humidity has contributed to the minimal growth seen on the Nk’Mip wildfire, which remains at an estimated 20,066 hectares.

Crews are working to finalize containment options in the northeast, while mop ups continue to happen along all other edges. 

Fire guards have been built around the excursion towards Mount Baldy, directly adjacent to the active fire perimeter. This allows for fire crews to contain the fire while also making direct attacks. 

Today, a new BCWS Incident Management Team has taken over operational control of the Okanagan Complex from the Australian Incident Management Team. 

There are currently 98 personnel, 38 pieces of heavy equipment, and two helicopters assigned to the Nk’Mip wildfire.  

Evacuation alerts remain in place for some areas, check your regional district for the most up to date information; Osoyoos Indian Band, Kootenay Boundary Regional District, Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen.


(UPDATE: Aug. 26 @ 11:24 am) - After finishing off their two tours of 28 days, the Australian Incident Management Team handling the Okanagan Complex will be heading home. 

As of tomorrow a new BCWS IMT will be taking operational control of the wildfires within the complex including Nk'Mip.  

“From the Australian IMT, we thank you for your patience and support whilst deployed to this complex,” said BCWS in a statement. 

Colder temperatures, high humidity, and precipitation in the area has stalled the Nk'Mip wildfire which has seen minimal growth and remains at an estimated 20,066 hectares. 

Containment lines in the northeast are being finalized, while crews continue to mop all other edges of the fire. 

Yesterday structure protection equipment was removed from the Mt.Baldy area, as only an evacuation alert remains in place. 

There are currently 90 firefighters including 33 Canadian Armed Forces, 33 pieces of heavy equipment, 34 support staff, and two helicopters. 

Up to date information on alerts and orders can be found in each regional district; Osoyoos Indian BandKootenay Boundary Regional District Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen


(UPDATE: Aug. 24 @ 5:17 am) – The evacuation order for 123 properties around Mt. Baldy has been downgraded to an evacuation alert as the Nk'Mip Creek wildfire remains stalled.

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary announced the downgrade at 4:30 pm on Monday.

Thirty-four properties in the regional district still remain on alert, however.

Photo credit: RDKB

A full list of addresses as well as a map of the alert areas are available at emergency.rdkb.com.

The fire remains out of control at 20,066 hectares.

Planned ignitions on the western side of Mt. Baldy are scheduled to go ahead in the coming days, BC Wildfire Service said.


(UPDATE: Aug. 23 @ 10:20 am) – The Nk’Mip Creek wildfire has seen minimal growth in the past six days.

The fire remains estimated at 20,066 hectares as it continues to burn out of control.

BCWS explains that the fire has stalled in its growth and movement due to the cooler temperatures and higher humidity.

There are 103 firefighters (including 35 CAF personnel), 34 support staff, 21 pieces of heavy equipment and five helicopters assigned to the fire today.

Today, the Mexican firefighters will leave the fire complex for a break and will return later this week.

Photo Credit: BCWS
The contingent of Mexican firefighters leaving the fire for their last break on Aug.7

“Some CAF troops have been moved from Thomas Creek wildfire to the Nk’Mip fire to bolster numbers to ensure we have effective mopping up throughout the fire ground,” explains BCWS.

Crews will work to finish up containment operations in the northeast while mopping up on the remainder of the fire.

Planned ignitions for the western side of Mount Baldy will occur in coming days as the weather conditions permit.

Structural protection in the Mount Baldy Ski area will remain setup to continue protecting the community.

There have been no changes to the evacuation order for 123 properties or the evacuation alert for 34 properties issued by the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary

An evacuation alert was rescinded by the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen on Friday, Aug. 20, however, there have been no other changes to evacuation notices in the district.

Photo Credit: BCWS


(UPDATE: Aug. 20 @ 4 pm): The Nk'Mip Creek wildfire is still estimated at 20,066 hectares today, and crews have been working on small hand ignitions.

The BC Wildfire Service said in an update that with favourable weather, planned hand ignitions will occur on the western face of Mt. Baldy.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) said today that an evacuation alert issued for several properties on Aug. 8, 2021 has been rescinded.

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary said that the BC Wildfire Service is working towards downgrading evacuation orders to alerts next week. A total of 123 addresses remain on evacuation order and 34 addresses are on evacuation alert in the district.

They added that more favourable weather conditions are expected in the next few days.


(UPDATE: Aug. 19 @ 10:41 am) - Hand ignitions continued for the Nk’Mip Creek wildfire yesterday, as crews are working on tying in containment to prevent the wildfire from entering Vaseux drainage.

Planned iginitions were set to take place this afternoon but due to unfavorable weather they have been postponed. 

BCWS is also working on the western face of Mt.Baldy and trying to get control of the fire with a machine guard on the ridge line.

The fire is currently supported by 215 firefighters, 96 of which are the mexican firefighters who were brought up within the past few weeks. 

There are also 34 support staff, 36 pieces of heavy equipment, seven helicopters and structural protection equipment on scene.

An Australian BC Wildfire Service Incident Management Team is managing the Okanagan Complex, which includes the Thomas Creek, the Brenda Creek, and the Nk'Mip Creek wildfires.

The fire remains out of control at an estimated 20,066 hectares.

Evacuation orders and alerts remain in place for the Nk’Mip Creek wildfire for the Osoyoos Indian Band, Kootenay Boundary Regional District, Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen.


(UPDATE: Aug. 18 @ 8:02 am): There was more "benign fire behaviour" at the Nk'Mip Creek wildfire last night, officials have said in a morning update.

The Mexican contingent – making up 96 of the 215 firefighters at the scene – are hard at work on priority areas in the south and east of the fire.

"Using this window, new containment lines and been identified and the machine building of guards in these locations has commenced," BC Wildfire Service explained.

The agency added: "Planned ignitions may occur over the next few days during a window of opportunity with mild weather and low winds.

Photo credit: BCWS

"These planned ignitions will be further communicated once timing and locations are exactly known. Planned ignitions occur when there is existing fuel between a guard and the fire and are done when conditions are cooler, humid and favourable winds to allow better control of the fire activity."

A spot on the eastern side of the fire remains about 2.3 kilometres west of Mt Baldy village, BCWS said.

Structure protection crews are setting up in the area.

Alongside the 215 firefighters, there are 11 structure protection specialists, 34 support staff, seven helicopters and 36 pieces of heavy equipment at the fire.

The fire remains out of control at an estimated 20,066 hectares. 


(UPDATE: Aug. 17 @ 11 am) – The Nk’Mip Creek wildfire was discovered on July 19 and the cause remains under investigation.

The wildfire is burning at an estimated 20,066 hectares, approximately six kilometres north of Osoyoos.

Today, there are 219 firefighters, 11 structural protection personnel, seven helicopters and 37 pieces of heavy equipment.

The 96 firefighters assigned to this fire continue to work on the southern and eastern flanks where high priority values are located.

Crews are supported by 34 support staff, including an incident management team.

Incident commander Benson Todd gave an update yesterday afternoon.

There were mild conditions and lower winds in the area which resulted in “benign” fire behaviour.

BC Wildfire Service crews used the cooler weather to their advantage and constructed new containment lines.

The eastern flank of the fire near Mount Baldy continues to burn west of the mountain ridge.

BCWS reports that this spot “made little progress yesterday and overnight” and remains approximately 2.5 kilometres west of the resort area.

Crews will continue to utilize the cooler temperatures this week by constructing guards in the northern and eastern flanks of the fire.

They will also mop up hotspots and may engage in planned ignitions if conditions continue to be favourable.

Evacuation orders and alerts issued by the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary remain in effect.

Photo Credit: BCWS

On Friday, Aug. 13, firefighter crews received an informational session from staff at the Nk'Mip Desert Cultural Centre about rattlesnake awareness and safety.

The aim of the presentation was to ensure crews understood how to work safely in parts of the area that has snakes present. 

Crews also learned about the importance of rattlesnakes, and other species, for the local ecology. 


(UPDATE: Aug. 16 @ 10:50 am) - Extreme winds of up to 60 km/hr on Sunday, created erratic behaviour for the Nk'Mip wildfire. There has been no new update on exact size of the fire, as it is still estimated to still be around 17,812. 

This morning, field observations noted that the wildfire is still about 2.5 km west of the Mt. Baldy peak and ridge and is burning at a rank five. The fire jumped containment guards yesterday afternoon at the base of the mountain, and started to burn upslope towards the top of the mountain. 

The fire in the north is currently being contained as large air tanker retardant lines were placed to prevent spread into the drainage.

Cooler temperatures and low winds are expected in the coming days, as crews will take advantage of the milder conditions to continue building lines in the north and south. 

As of today there are 217 firefighters (including 96 Mexican firefighters), 39 pieces of heavy equipment, 34 support staff, 11 structural protection personnel, and seven helicopters.

An Australian BC Wildfire Service Incident Management Team is currently in charge of the Okanagan Complex, which includes the Thomas Creek, the Brenda Creek. and the Nk'Mip Creek wildfires.

Firefighters continue to mop up hot-spots along the southern perimeter of the fire, and structure protection crews will remain set up in the Mt. Baldy Ski area. 

Evacuation orders and alerts remain in place for the Osoyoos Indian BandKootenay Boundary Regional DistrictRegional District of Okanagan Similkameen.


(UPDATE: Aug. 14 @ 6:30 pm) – The Nk’Mip Creek wildfire, which originated 6 kilometres north of Osoyoos, is now burning at 17,812 hectares.

Today, there are 192 firefighters, 10 structural protection personnel, 39 additional staff (including an incident management team), 37 pieces of heavy equipment and nine helicopters working on this fire.

BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) announced that an Australian incident management team will arrive on site today.

The hot, dry and windy weather frontal system will be returning to the Okanagan and BCWS expects fire activity to increase.

Crews have contingency plans in place in case the windy conditions and increased fire activity threaten their safety while working the fire lines.

They are also working hard today to finish building and reinforcing guards before the weather front arrives.

Photo Credit: BC Wildfire dashboard

“Air tankers may be used again today to support a large contingent of crews who are working in steep, rocky terrain on the northwest flank of the fire, which saw some growth overnight and this morning,” notes BCWS.

Air tankers will work to apply fire retardant to slow the spread of the fire while helicopters will support bucketing operations.

Crews will be engaging in a 300 hectare planned ignition today, Aug. 14, if conditions remain favourable.

The southern flank of the fire is being patrolled for hotspots and crews continue to mop up.

Crews will continue to patrol and monitor the areas along McKinney road, near Mount Baldy, to ensure no properties are at risk from the fire – all in anticipation of the approaching weather system.

The area restriction for the Nk’Mip Creek wildfire has been expanded, effective noon on Aug. 13.

For updates on evacuation notices visit these links: Osoyoos Indian Band, Regional District of Kootenay Boundary and Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.


(UPDATE: August 13 @ 11:40 am) - Little to no new growth has been reported on the Nk'Mip wildfire and BCWS estimates the fire to remain at 17,472 hectares.

Crews are expecting a shift in winds today which may increase fire behaviour, but are ensuring that plans are in place for a safe escape from fire lines should the need arise. 

There are currently 192 firefighters, 39 support staff, including a BC Wildfire Service Incident Management Team, 38 pieces of heavy equipment, 10 structural protection personnel, and nine helicopters being shared within the Okanagan Complex. 

The Okanagan Complex is made up of the Nk'Mip Creek, Thomas Creek, and Brenda Creek wildfires. 

To get the fastest updates on evacuation alerts and orders you can go to each of the regional districts websites here:  RDKB, RDOS, and OIB.


(UPDATE: August 12 @ 4:00 pm) - The Nk'Mip fire that is burning six kilometres north of Osoyoos, is now an estimated 17,472 hectares.

Yesterday, air tankers were used to support a large contingent of crews who are working in steep, rocky terrain on the northwest flank of the fire.

The tankers applied retardant to slow the spread of the fire, while helicopters bucketed water which provided more time for ground crews to construct and reinforce guard lines.

There are currently 229 firefighters, 39 pieces of heavy equipment, 39 support staff, including a BC Wildfire Service Incident Management Team, 10 structural protection personnel, and eight helicopters all assigned to this fire. 

Photo credit: Contributed by BCWS

Crews will continue to establish machine and contingency guards around the perimeter of the fire in a methodical manner, and guard lines will be reinforced using hand and aerial ignitions when conditions allow.

A task force of structural protection crews and engines will continue to patrol and protect assets along McKinney Road and in other areas of the fire and will also action hotspots that are found during the patrols. 

The RDKB issued 10 temporary access permits to residents in the Mount Baldy area for August 12 to collect essential items left behind after they were evacuated.

However, given recent fire behavior and a forecast of sustained gusty winds and temperatures in the low 30s, the RDKB will be suspending temporary access to residents on August 13, 14 and 15, on the advice of the BC Wildfire Service.

The situation will be reassessed August 16.

There are 123 addresses that remain on evacuation order and 34 addresses on evacuation alert in Electoral Area E/West Boundary. You can find the full list of affected properties for RDKB, RDOS, and OIB here. 
 


(UPDATE: Aug. 11 @ 6:40 pm) – The Nk’Mip Creek wildfire is still estimated at 17,469 hectares.

There are 243 firefighters, 10 structural protection personnel, 37 support staff, 29 pieces of heavy equipment and nine helicopters assigned to this fire.

Today, the 98 Mexican firefighters helping with this fire have returned after a three day break.

They will continue to work within high priority areas of the fire.

Photo Credit: BC Wildfire Service

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary has arranged for residents under evacuation order in the Mount Badly area of electoral area “E” (West Boundary) temporary access tomorrow, Thursday, Aug.12.

Access will be provided with the following conditions:

Anyone who wishes to access their property can register by calling 1-888-747-9119.

Visit this link for more information.

Crews will continue with mop up activities, small scale hand ignitions and establishing guards.

“A small hand ignition was completed yesterday to remove a triangular area of fuel on the northwest corner of the fire,” BC Wildfire Service explains.

Air resources will support ground crews in the northwest flank who are working in steep and rocky terrain.

“The air tankers will apply retardant to slow the spread of the fire, which will provide more time for ground crews to construct and reinforce guard lines,” affirms BCWS.

BCWS is preparing for hotter and drier weather to return to much of the Okanagan.

Today the winds continued from the north and northwest.

Photo Credit: BC Wildfire dashboard


(UPDATE: Aug. 9 @ 12:05 pm) – Fire behaviour is expected to increase "on a daily basis" at the Nk'Mip Creek wildfire as temperatures rise this week, BC Wildfire Service has said.

The fire is now estimated to be 17,469 hectares in size.

"A warm, drying trend has returned to the South Okanagan," BCWS explained today.

"Temperatures will increase and humidity will decrease over the coming days. Winds will be from the south west.

"Fire behaviour is expected to increase on a daily basis."

Photo credit: BCWS
One of the Mexican firefighters at the Nk'Mip Creek wildfire recently.

Firefighters and helicopters will be focusing on the northwestern stretch of the fire today, BCWS said.

Steep terrain and increased fire behaviour "may challenge suppression efforts," the agency explained.

"A task force of structural protection crews and engines will continue to patrol to protect assets along McKinney Road and in other areas of the fire," BCWS said.

"Properties near Mt. Baldy are being continually assessed for structural protection needs. Structural protection specialists have demobilized their equipment in the Shrike Community due to decreased fire risk in that area."

The 98 Mexican firefighters helping on the fire will return from their rest days on Wednesday.

BCWS explained: "Staff continue to develop plans to effectively utilize the Mexican firefighters within high priority areas of the fire upon their return."

There are 122 firefighters, 10 structure protection specialists, 38 support staff, 36 helicopters and nine helicopters at the scene today.


(UPDATE: Aug. 8 @ 3:45 pm) – The Nk’Mip Creek wildfire has grown to 16,877 hectares.

Today there are 125 firefighters, 12 structural protection personnel and 43 support staff on site.

Crews are supported by 35 pieces of heavy equipment and six helicopters.

Yesterday, the 98 Mexican firefighters assigned to this fire would be leaving until Wed. Aug. 11 for a break.

Crews continue to establish guards around the perimeter of the fire while engaging in planned ignitions.

“The cooler weather and wet conditions will allow crews and equipment to work in tight proximity to the fire,” explains BCWS.

In the south, crews continue to mop up hotspots.

Structural protection personnel continue to patrol and protect values along McKinney road.

Properties near Mount Baldy are also being assessed for structural protection. 

The Shrike community has experienced reduced fire risk, so structural protection was demobilized.

Visit the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen, Osoyoos Indian band and Town of Oliver websites for updates on the evacuation alerts.

Photo Credit: BC Wildfire dashboard


(UPDATE: Aug. 7 @ 1:45 pm) – The Nk’Mip Creek wildfire continues to burn at 16,005 hectares.

BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) reports that there are 153 firefighters, six helicopters and 22 pieces of heavy equipment working on this fire today. 

There are also 16 structural protection personnel and 51 support staff.

“A contingent of 98 Mexican firefighters have been working on this fire since July 25th,” reports BCWS.

“They will be leaving for three days of rest after work on Saturday August 7th, and will return to this fire on Wednesday August 11th.”

Photo Credit: BC Wildfire dashboard

The area received slightly cooler temperatures and BCWS says there will be an increase in west/northwest winds.

Today, the objectives include building guards on the northwest and northeast flanks of the fire.

Firefighters working in the southern flank are mopping up hot spots located with an infrared scan.

“A task force of structural protection crews and engines will be patrolling overnight to protect assets along McKinney Road,” explains the agency.

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen has rescinded another evacuation alert.

The Osoyoos Indian Band and Town of Oliver have also rescinded alerts for portions of their areas.


(UPDATE: Aug. 5 @ 2:15 pm) – Some properties impacted by this fire are seeing changes to evacuation orders and alerts.

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) announced that the evacuation alert for 286 properties in electoral area “E” (West Boundary) has been rescinded.

An evacuation order for 34 properties has been downgraded to an alert.

However, 123 properties remain on evacuation order.

The order and alert areas in the RDKB affect Sidley, Mount Baldy, Bridesville and Rock Creek.

Mark Stephens, emergency centre operation centre director, expresses the agency’s understanding for the stress residents are facing while on evacuation order or alert.

“Our Emergency Operations Centre is thankful to everyone who has followed the order and alert as public safety is our primary concern.”

Photo Credit: Regional District of Kootenay Boundary


(UPDATE: Aug. 5 @ 9:40 am) – The Nk’Mip Creek fire, burning 6 kilometres north of Osoyoos, is still estimated to be burning at 16,005 hectares.

Today, there are 155 firefighters, six helicopters and 19 pieces of heavy equipment working on this fire.

Crews are supported by an incident management team, 37 military personnel and 46 structure protection personnel. 

Overnight there were gusty winds accompanied by some dry lighting in the area.

The dry and windy conditions caused fire growth in the northwest corner.

Photo Credit: BC Wildfire dashboard

BC Wildfire Service reports that “water skimming aircraft were called in to support ground operations on the north flank to reduce fire behaviour while ground crews work on the northwest corner.”

Crews will work to control the escape in this corner and will utilize hand ignition if the conditions allow it.

Crews have demobilized structure protection units in the Shrike community area but are still patrolling to assess and prepare for further protection.

Danger tree assessments and falling will continue to ensure ground crew safety.

The evacuation alert issued by Osoyoos Indian Band remains in place.

For updates from the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, visit this link.

For updates on other evacuation orders and/or alerts issued by the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary, visit this link.


(UPDATE: August 4 @ 5:15 am) - Hundreds of properties near the Nk'Mip Creek wildfire have been freed from evacuation orders.

The Central District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) said last night that an evacuation order affecting 223 properties had been rescinded.

They remain on evacuation alert, however.

Click here to see the full notice about the rescinded order.

Photo credit: RDOS

The Osoyoos Indian Band, meanwhile, has also rescinded an evacuation order for Area 27, including Nk'Mip Road to Spirit Ridge.

An alert remains in place. 

Other alerts and orders also remain in place.

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) evacuation information is available here.

The fire remains at 16,005 hectares and is still classified as out of control.

In its last update, BC Wildfire Service said it had 186 firefighters, six helicopters and 24 pieces of heavy equipment battling the blaze.


(UPDATE: August 3 @12:00 pm) - BCWS has confirmed that the Nk'Mip Creek wildfire is estimated to be around 16,005 hectares, but smoke has made it hard to accurately track the growth of the fire. 

Little rainfall over the weekend, didn't slow down the blaze much as conditions have returned to a drying trend with relative minimum humidity at 25% and daily high temperature of 30 degrees. 

A new incident management team has taken control over the Okanagan Complex, which includes the Thomas Creek, Brenda Creek, and Nk'Mip Creek wildfires.

There are currently 186 firefighters on scene, 46 structure personnel, assisted by 24 pieces of heavy equipment, and six helicopters all battling the blaze. 

Aircraft and other resources may be reallocated from day to day within the complex as priorities shift.

Crews will demobilize and patrol around residential areas near McKinney Rd, Nk'Mip Rd and Shrike Hill and tactical FireSmart and structural protection around Mt. Baldy Ski Resort is continuing

Planned ignitions are in the works for areas northeast of the fire including the Mt. Baldy Resort and the McKinney Nordic Ski Club.

Evacuation orders and alerts remain in place for numerous properties by Osoyoos Indian Band, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS), and the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB). 

The cause for the fire remains under investigation. 


(UPDATE: July 30 @ 12:20 pm) - BC Wildfire Service has estimated that the Nk'Mip Creek wildfire has grown considerably in recent days.

They now calculate the fire to be about 13,000 hectares.

But BCWS said the figure is a "rough estimate based on observed growth" because heavy smoke has prevented accurate mapping from the air.

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

BCWS said the fire grew on its north and northeastern flanks on Thursday.

The growth was driven mostly by wind, dryness and the type of fuel in the area.

"We will continue to see smoke in the valley bottoms through the morning, with some clearing through the afternoon and evening," the agency said.

"Fire behaviour is anticipated to increase through the afternoon and into the evening, as the inversion lifts and skies clear."

BCWS warned of hot and dry weather to come.

There are 140 firefighters, five helicopters and 26 pieces of heavy equipment at the fire.

Various support staff are also on site, bringing the total number of personnel to 250. 


(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.

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.

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.

Photo credit: BCWS
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.

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.

Photo Credit: NowMedia

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.

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.

Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble

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.

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.

Photo credit: Town of Osoyoos
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:

Learn more here.

The Town of Osoyoos warned those issued with alerts to: 

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.

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. 

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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