View from downtown

This photo taken Monday at 6:30 p.m. from Nanaimo Square in the heart of downtown Penticton shows the dark skies and smoke from the south.

UPDATED 8 p.m., Monday, July 19, 2021

Black smoke coming from near the Osoyoos Indian Band has blanketed Penticton and the entire South Okanagan giving residents an idea of what armageddon will look like.

A fire — now dubbed the Inkaneep Creek fire —  has knocked out power to at least 3,000 Fortis customers in the south Okanagan.

Visibility on the highways remains poor for motorists.

Black ash, meanwhile, has rained down on vehicles in Penticton while many residents are wearing masks — and not because of COVID-19.

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen had not issued an evacuation order as of 8 p.m. on Monday but is expected to do so shortly. An emergency operations centre will be established.

According to BC Wildfire Services, the fire is challenging to contain due to strong winds in the area.

In a news release, the fire is described as "aggressive."

"The fire is currently an extremely vigorous surface and active crown fire," BC Wildfire Services said.