More people have been forced to flee their homes due to the growing Keremeos Creek wildfire, burning approximately 20 km outside of Penticton.
On Thursday, Olalla, B.C., resident Cheryl Gorder had to pack up her home in a hurry as the fire was only a few kilometres away from her community
“It’s scary. We’re afraid. Please, everybody, prayers,” said Gorder through tears.
Gorder’s home is just one of 407 properties currently under an evacuation order in the Okanagan-Similkameen region.
“For a few nights now we’ve been packed. My friend is from Victoria Pines Trailer Park; she’s been staying here, but we’ve all got to go now,” Gorder said.
Further down Highway 3A is a similar situation, Lauren Hunter rushed back to his home to gather some mementos.
“Well, I was in Dawson Creek when the fire chief called me, my wife died a month (ago),” said Hunter as he held back tears.
“I rushed back. And we went through this last year, you know, at the fire department. I’m glad my wife’s not here right now to see this in a way.”
Hunter, who is a volunteer firefighter, normally runs towards a blaze. On Thursday, though, found himself needing to flee his home due to wildfire.
“It’s emotional, especially with what I’m going through and if our place burns down… you know it’s in God’s hands,” he said.
Keremeos Creek wildfire destroys mountainside home
As of Thursday afternoon, there are 137 wildland and 115 structural protection personnel from fire departments across the province working to contain the blaze.
BC Wildfire estimated the fire at 4,250 hectares and that wind gusts reaching 30 km/h drove the fire downhill on Wednesday, towards Olalla.
As the fire rages on, it’s unclear what residents will be returning home to when they are allowed to come back.
“Please, please, please just save our home,” said Gorder.
Some residents near Keremeos Creek wildfire vow to stay behind
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