Video shows massive effort taking place to protect evacuated Apex Mountain from wildfire

Huge effort to protect Apex

UPDATE 6:35 p.m.

Apex Mountain general manager James Shalman has published a video showing off the massive effort crews have made in protecting the resort from the Keremeos Creek wildfire.

The resort’s village is under evacuation order and crews have arrived from across the region to help with structural protection.

In the video, Shalman says crews have now deployed FireSmart tactics at every single property at the resort.

He says the sprinkler system now set up at the village is the most extensive ever put in place by the BC Wildfire Service.

Snowmaking machines have also been activated to raise the humidity of the entire area.

In a Facebook post early Thursday morning, Apex Volunteer Fire Department chief Kelly Johnston thanked “the folks who have put their lives on hold and are working tirelessly to protect our special place.”

“I am so grateful to the residents of Apex, who are entrusting the homes and places they value so much with AVFR and our partners. I am also deeply moved and thankful for the outpouring of support that residents have provided us. It is still early in this incident, but your encouragement and support is keeping the crew going.”

On Thursday, most of the activity of the wildfire is in the south, where it has now forced evacuation alerts as far south as Keremeos itself.

The fire is still visible from one of Apex Mountain’s webcams, but fire officials say the flames remain around three kilometres from the resort’s lifts.

ORIGINAL 4:20 p.m.

The Keremeos Creek wildfire is growing slightly towards Apex Mountain village, which has been evacuated, but only slowly as crews are hard at work to stop the spread.

At a media briefing Thursday, fire prevention officer Molly Raine with Apex Volunteer Fire Department said the fire had moved closer in the past 24 hours, but there was some good news from the mountain, as there was hard rain mid-afternoon.

She also said views from the Apex Mountain live webcam atop the Quad chairlift, which have looked particularly dramatic at night with visible flames and smoke in recent days, should not cause too much alarm at this time.

"The view can be a little bit deceiving. From that webcam, where the location is, the last update I received it was about 2.5 to three kilometres away," Raine explained.

BC Wildfire Service information officer Bryan Zandberg confirmed that approximation.

Most of the growth in the last 24 hours on the wildfire has been downslope towards Olalla.

Apex Mountain Resort has its snowmaking guns poised for action to help prevent wildfire spread in the community if need be.

A total of 407 properties are under evacuation order due to this wildfire, many of which are in Apex. For more information on evacuations, click here.

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