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Keremeos Creek wildfire keeps Highway 3A closed, hundreds still evacuated

Almost 400 firefighters are working to fight the blaze.
wildfire crews keremeos
BC Wildfire Service crews continue to fight the Keremeos Creek wildfire.

Highway 3A between the Kaleden junction and Keremeos remains closed Friday morning as the Keremeos Creek wildfire continues to be aggressive.

Crews are actioning the wildfire which is impacting the community of Olalla along the highway.

As of Friday morning, there is heavy smoke over Olalla and Marcel but there was minimal growth on the south flank.

"Overnight, downslope winds in excess of 30 km/hr drove fire downhill along Hwy 3A southwards towards Olalla," reads an update from the BC Wildfire Service.

"Currently the fire is still within the evacuation order boundaries."

Crews worked through the night on structure defense around the Cedar Creek drainage and kept fire on the west side of Highway 3A. Crews reported rank 4 fire behaviour through the overnight periods. Wind and slope continue to be the biggest contributing factors for increased fire behaviour.

227 wildland firefighters are assigned to this fire working with an additional 170 structural protection personnel from fire departments across B.C. bringing the total to 397 firefighters.

Olalla has been evacuated as of Thursday. Apex Mountain Resort was evacuated earlier in the week.

An interactive map of all evacuation zones around the fire can be found online.

Call 250-328-8749 to access Emergency Support Services if your property is on evacuation order.

Any evacuees in need of transportation can call 250-490-4225.

Any evacuees concerned about their animals can contact ALERT animal rescue at 250-490-7152.

The Emergency Operations Centre is open in Penticton Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 120 Green Avenue.

DriveBC reports the next update on the status of Highway 3A will be at noon.