KEREMEOS, B.C. — A wildfire on the fringes of British Columbia’s southern Okanagan has grown.

The BC Wildfire Service says the blaze, which is about 21 kilometres southwest of Penticton, is now nearly 60 square kilometres in size.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen’s emergency operations centre says more than 500 properties are under an evacuation order, and people living in over 1,000 other properties have to be ready to leave on short notice.

The district is asking people to restrict use of sprinklers and not leave them running.

It says heavy water use can hurt smaller systems and may hinder firefighting. 

Mikhail Elsay, information officer for the BC Wildfire Service, says the warm and dry weather is leading to an increase in fire activity. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 6, 2022.

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