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Penticton  

Wildfire near Keremeos

A 10 hectare wildfire is burning near Keremeos.

Fire Information Officer Michaela Swan says "The fire is burning in grass and sage and displaying aggressive surface fire behaviour. Resources on site include 22 firefighters, one dozer and one water truck."

There are homes near the wildfire, but not imminently threatened.  Crews on site are working with the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen to assess the need for an evacuation alert for nearby residents.

Keremeos homeowner Louise Crooker was shocked to see the fire near her yard when she came home after a day out.

"I'm pretty sure no homes were burnt. It went up the hillside opposite the Grist Mill, and is burning along the top of the mountain. We have orchards behind our place, then a rocky hill. It looks calmer now (10 p.m.), thank heavens!  Thankfully there's no wind! We were at the Mascot Mine all day and came back at 8:30. Don't know what started it," she says.

Deborah Pfeiffer reports, "People in the immediate area were put on evacuation alert. There was at least one winery and fruit farm in the vicinity. Firefighters said it had burned brush but no structures. Onlookers said it was like a ring of fire when it started. Firefighters said they expected to be up there for most of the night."

The fire is located near Highway 3A, off of Upper Bench Road.

Swan says, "The fire danger rating remains high in the south Okanagan, so we ask the public to be vigilant and contact us at *5555 on your cellular phone or toll-free at 1-800-663-5555 to report a wildfire.'

If you have any photos or video please send to [email protected]



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