Progress made on Oliver fires, 29 structures lost in Rock Creek

Concerted effort has resulted in significant progress on wildfires near Oliver.

The Testalinden Creek fire has burned more than 1

The Testalinden Creek fire has burned more than 1

A concerted effort between BC Wildfire Service and local fire department crews has resulted in significant progress on the wildfires north and south of Oliver.

The Wilson Mountain Road fire is burning one kilometre north of Oliver and is now estimated at 317 hectares in size. The fire is a smouldering ground fire with minimal open flame. Twenty-nine firefighters established guard around portions of the perimeter. They were supported by four helicopters.

The Evacuation Order was rescinded on Saturday afternoon for the properties affected by the Wilson’s Mountain fire to the north and west of Oliver.

The Testalinden Creek wildfire, burning approximately seven km south of Oliver, is now estimated at over 1,560 hectares. Airtankers, six helicopters and 96 firefighters continue to work towards establishing containment. An evacuation order remains in place for approximately 100 homes in the Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen.

Evacuation information is available through the RDOS. Please visit www.rdos.bc.ca or call 250-492-0237 or toll-free at 1-877-610-3737.

The wildfire which started west of Rock Creek near Highway 3 is currently estimated at 3,750 hectares.

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary has completed an assessment of damage in the area and has confirmed that 29 homes and additional structures have been lost.

The majority of the fire’s growth took place on Aug. 13, but heavy smoke previously limited mapping capabilities. A warm drying trend may return over the next several days. This may cause an increase fire behaviour and growth.

BC Wildfire Service said the Rock Creek fire is uncontained and extremely dangerous. Anyone entering the evacuation area will be putting themselves and firefighters at risk. This area contains multiple potential hazards, including active wildfire, “danger trees” (trees whose root systems have been weakened by fire activity), heavy equipment use and downed power lines.

Entering the evacuation area can delay firefighting activities, contribute to the growth of the fire and possibly put more values and people at risk. Safe fire suppression efforts depend on the support and understanding of the public.

The cause of this wildfire is under investigation, but it is suspected to be human-caused.

An Evacuation Order and an additional Evacuation Alert issued by the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary remains in effect. For more information, please visit: http://www.rdkb.com.