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South Okanagan couple works to save home from Keremeos Creek wildfire

Caillum Smith and Alison Lujan, a couple living on Green Mountain Road, are doing whatever they can to save their home from the Keremeos Creek wildfire.

It has burned almost 6,000 hectares in just over a week.

Once they saw how out of control the blaze had become, they jumped into action, fire-smarting their home to protect everything from the fire that was in their backyard.

“We were right on the fence line with hoses and the BC wildfire crew,” said Smith.

Read more:

Keremeos Creek wildfire has grown to 5,903 hectares

“There were a couple of trees that candled behind our garage, up by our gazebo. We had a couple up just past our fence line. Our biggest concern was keeping it off the trees.”

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The moment the couple watched their neighbor’s home burn to the ground on the first night of the fire, is when they knew their home could be next and it was time to evacuate.

“We were watching from our roof when it first started, and it circled around our valley, and it jumped the road and started coming up towards us. When we saw our neighbor’s place go up at about 2 am, we just decided to pack our dogs and our computers and we left and went to Penticton to my mom’s place,” said Lujan.

Read more:

Keremeos Creek wildfire: 1,600 properties under evacuation alerts, orders

Even with the image of a single ember hitting their neighbor’s home, paired with the thought of their home being next to go up in the flames, the two remained calm.

“We’re insured, we have an amazingly supportive family and friends around,” said Lujan. “Things are just things they can be replaced, but as long as we had our dogs and our work computers we just decided to go.”

Read more:

‘We’re afraid’: Olalla, BC residents forced to flee as Keremeos Creek wildfire rages on

The chaotic winds familiar to that area has helped push the fire in many directions since it began on July 29.

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“It’s really unpredictable, which is why the fire has been so erratic,” said Smith. “There’s no single fire front, it’s burning to the north of us now, it’s burning down near Ollala, it’s burning near Apex.”

The two have returned home, even with an evacuation order in place, and are staying there until it isn’t safe anymore.

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