Fire at seven hectares

UPDATE: 3:00 p.m.

The K Mountain wildfire burning near Keremeos is now estimated to be seven hectares in size, according to the BC Wildfire Service.

Fire information officer Justine Hunse said it's a unique fire because it's burning on extremely steep terrain.

Fire crews are unable to access the fire on the ground but continue to monitor the situation.

Aircrafts can't access the blaze either, due in part to the thick smoke and because of the slope the fire is burning on.

Hunse described the fire to be burning almost vertically.

"The way that helicopters drop water and that air tankers drop retardant over a fire, it's not effective in the way that it is when they're unloading over flat surfaces," she said.

Moderate winds from the south-southwest of 15 kilometres per hours and gusts up to 25 kph are expected in the area this afternoon.

No structures are currently threatened by the blaze. 

UPDATE: 12:15 p.m.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen says the wildfire burning atop K Mountain poses no immediate threat to private property, structures or infrastructure.

Information officer Cameron Baughan says the B.C. Wildfire Service is monitoring the fire, which is not related to the active Diamond Creek wildfire about 35 kilometres away.

“People are advised to stay well away from the K Mountain upland area while the wildfire is active,” Baughan said. “No Evacuation alerts or orders are associated with this fire at this time.”    

UPDATE: 9:40 a.m.

The BC Wildfire Service says the K Mountain fire is approximately two hectares in size.

Fire information officer Justine Hunse say it's burning near the summit, overlooking Keremeos, and is very visible to nervous residents below.

It is about six kilometres from the village.

A Wildfire Service supervisor assessed the scene overnight, but fire crews could not begin fighting the fire in the darkness.

Hunse reassured residents the fire is not part of the much larger Diamond Creek wildfire, which crossed the border from Washington state.

So far, the cause of the Keremeos blaze is unknown.

UPDATE: 9:35 a.m.

Local fire crews are still standing by and monitoring a fire burning on top of K Mountain near Keremeos, which broke out Thursday night.

Jordy Bosscha, fire chief of the Keremeos Fire Department, said his crew is still waiting to hear from the BC Wildfire Service for an assessment of the blaze burning at the top of the mountain.

"We're just waiting to see what happens; hopefully nothing."

The exact location of where the fire is burning is not clear for fire crews. 

Bosscha said that there are hiking trails on the mountain that are frequented. 

ORIGINAL: 9:15 p.m.

Flames can be seen on top of K Mountain, south of Keremeos, after yet another wildfire was sparked Thursday night. 

Keremeos fire chief Jordy Bosscha says the blaze is "way up on top of the mountain" and not threatening any buildings at this time. 

Deb, a resident of Keremeos, says the town has been enveloped in thick smoke from the Diamond Creek wildfire for the past three days, but she can see the flames on K Mountain through the smoke from her home. 

"It means it's got to be a fairly strong fire," Deb said. "When I first saw it, one tree kind of went up and then it broke into two fires and each started heading in different directions.

"I won't be going to bed anytime soon."

Another resident says she's seen several trees candle on different parts of the mountain, and is concerned ash from the Diamond Creek wildfire may be starting the fires. 

Bosscha says a member of the BC Wildfire Service is coming to assess the location of the fire this evening and they will "hopefully work on it tomorrow morning."

Bosscha says there is little wind in the area this evening.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available. Send videos and photos to [email protected].

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