Anarchist Mountain Fire Department sees conditions change Saturday, warns community to stay away

Fire dept warns to stay away

UPDATED: 8:55 p.m.

The Anarchist Mountain Fire Department shared a warning to residents out on evacuation orders on Saturday night.

"Strong wind speed and smoke have been expected with a shift in weather, as forecasted," their Facebook post reads. "AMFD crew is patrolling the community and monitoring for hot spots."

"For those addresses still under Evacuation Order, please do not return until the Regional District has rescinded the order."

ORIGINAL: 11:45 a.m.

The Nk'Mip Creek fire burning southeast of Oliver continued to grow Friday and through the night, and more growth is expected through Saturday.

The large fire is currently estimated at 13,000 hectares in size, and it's forced the evacuation of hundreds of properties in the area. At least three homes have been destroyed by the fire so far.

“Yesterday and overnight, fire growth was observed on the north and northeastern flanks, driven by wind, fuel type, and dry conditions,” the BC Wildfire Service said in a Saturday morning update.

“Today, the weather will remain hot and dry, with strong venting conditions throughout the burning period. Winds are anticipated to be variable and driven by daytime heating, topography, and fire behaviour. These challenging conditions are expected to increase fire behaviour, with wildfire personnel maintaining life, property, and fireline safety as critical objectives.”

Temperatures are forecast to reach 38 C near the fire Saturday, although relative humidity is expected to increase Sunday, along with the potential for showers.

Through Friday night, fire crews remained on scene in the Shrike Hill neighbourhood, working to protect homes in the area. They continued to patrol Saturday around residential areas near McKinney Rd, Nk'Mip Rd and Shrike Hill, burning off any unburnt fuels in the area and extinguishing hot spots.

Other crews are also working near Mt. Baldy Resort, while firefighters are working to protect homes around the Anarchist Mountain community.

“Heavy equipment remains on site and is continuing with line location, and construction and reinforcement of guards to the southeast of Mt. Baldy Resort and the McKinney Nordic Ski Club,” the BCWS said.

“Patrols and mop up continue on the fire's southern perimeter. Heavy equipment will be strengthening and widening guards on the southeast and eastern flanks.”

There are now 186 BC Wildfire Service firefighters working on the fire, along with five helicopters and 14 pieces of heavy equipment. An additional 46 municipal firefighters are working on structural protection.

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