Nk'Mip Creek wildfire: Evacuation order partially rescinded by Osoyoos Indian Band
VANCOUVER -- The evacuation order issued by the Osoyoos Indian Band due to the raging Nk'Mip Creek wildfire has been partially rescinded, allowing some evacuees back into their homes.
Officials lifted the order for 176 properties on Wednesday afternoon, but said the addresses remain under evacuation alert, meaning the residents must be prepared to flee at a moment's notice.
"An evacuation order may need to be reissued," warns the notice, which was signed by Ronny McGinnis of the band council.
Another 26 addresses, all located along Nk'Mip and Black Sage roads, remain under evacuation order.
The nearby wildfire, which broke out on Monday, has already grown to an estimated 2,000 hectares. As of Wednesday evening, the B.C. Wildfire Service still had the blaze classified as "out of control."
There are 37 firefighters working to control the flames with five helicopters and 13 pieces of heavy equipment, according to officials.
Additional evacuation orders and alerts have been issued by the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen and the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary, affecting hundreds more properties.
Osoyoos Mayor Sue McKortoff told CTV Morning Live Wednesday residents have been watching the Nk'Mip Creek wildfire spread with great concern.
"The fire was between Oliver and Osoyoos – the north end of the lake – and then it spread south," McKortoff said. "All evacuees, wherever they're from in this area, go to the Oliver Legion."
Visitors staying at Spirit Ridge Resort and the nearby campground on Osoyoos Indian Band land were ordered to leave and were asked to return home, if possible.
"We don't have any extra hotel rooms here that are open," McKortoff said, adding that vacationers heading to the area should "do their homework" before visiting.
For example, McKortoff said when she went to put gas in her car Tuesday, the station had run out.
"I'm going to have to ration myself as to where I go," she said.
McKortoff also said visitors should be aware of the weather conditions. Environment Canada has an air quality advisory in place for most of southeastern B.C. due to wildfire smoke.
"There's smoke everywhere so you need to know that. If you're coming here, you need to be able to adjust to that," McKortoff said.
"We don't know how long it's going to last … think carefully before you venture up here because you may not be able to do all of the things you wanted to do."
Up-to-date information on evacuation orders and alerts is available through EmergencyInfoBC.
A previous version of this story incorrectly identified Ronnie McGinnis as chief. McGinnis is a councillor.