July 15, 2017 9:19 pm
Updated: July 17, 2017 2:03 am

Evacuations in Lake Country due to fast-moving wildfire


11 p.m. Sunday
“The Emergency Operation Centre advises that following an assessment this afternoon between Lake Country Fire and the BC Wildfire Service, the Evacuation Order for Nighthawk Road, Long Rd, Tyndall Road from south of 10810 to the end of the payment remains in effect. As well, Jack Seaton Park is closed.

These areas within the Okanagan Centre wildfire still have active fire which is being fought by ground crews. When it is safe to remove this order, residents from approximately 69 properties will be allowed home.”

7 p.m. Sunday
“Eight homes on Nighthawk Road, as well as outbuildings on one property on Tyndall Road were lost overnight due to the Okanagan Centre wildfire. Impacted property owners attended a meeting earlier today to receive information and support for moving forward,” said a release from the Central Okanagan Emergency Centre.

“Fire crews from across the Okanagan continue to work today on the 55-hectare Okanagan Centre wildfire. The fire is 50 per cent contained by hand guard and surrounded 80 per cent by retardant.”

10 a.m. CORD emergency operations is reporting as many as 10 structures have sustained damage in the fire.

More accurate assessments will be done to confirm damage figures later today.

The evacuation order and alert remains in place.

There are 331 properties on evacuation order in the area of the wildfire and another 657 properties on evacuation alert.

A map of the evacuation area can be found here.

Fire crews from around the Okanagan will assist putting out hot spots, while RCMP will be on guard at roadblocks to protect homes in the evacuation area.

10:50 p.m. UPDATE: There are 251 properties on evacuation order and 738 more properties in the Lake Country area of the wildfire on alert.

The situation has been changing quickly and a map of roads affected have not been issued by officials.

The Emergency Social Services reception centre in Kelowna is preparing to accept thousands of people tonight both from the Lake Country wildfire and from around Williams Lake.

Spokesperson Tanya Patterson said 6,000 from Williams Lake have been told to head south to Kelowna or Chilliwack.

The reception centre on Sutherland Avenue is gearing up for the response, Patterson said.

A person behind the fire line at the Lake Country wildfire sent out an important note about being prepared to evacuate:

“Fire is not contained. Heading East and quickly due to the winds. I recommend anyone living East of Chase Rd. to pack an emergency bag; bottles of water, phones & chargers, flashlights & batteries; first aid kit; pet food/bowls; passport; blanket; 3 changes of clothes; personal hygiene products. Also important to take a video of your homes contents now while you have time. It’s going to be a long night. Oh and pack their prescription medications ESPECIALLY any inhalers for Asthma or COPD patients.”

9 p.m. UPDATE: The Lake Country Fire Department is being assisted by crews from Kelowna and Peachland as well as resources from the B.C. Wildfire Service.

Global News had cameras fixed on the Tyndall and Nighthawk Rd. area where homes could be seen in flames as waterbombers took several passes.

Witnesses tell Global News numerous residents who fled the fire went into shock and had to be treated by paramedics. Some were treated for smoke inhalation.

FortisBC was on the scene around 8 p.m. to turn off gas and electricity to affected neighbourhoods as flames surrounded them.

7:20 p.m. UPDATE: The Lake Country wildfire is estimated at 20 hectares.

There is a mass evacuation of the Okanagan Centre Road West area.

The Lake Country fire is dotted in red on this map.

BC Wildfire Service/ Global Okanagan

Hundreds of homes are being evacuated and numerous homes have been lost.

Emergency Support Services has set up a reception centre at the Kelowna Salvation Army Church at 1480 Sutherland Avenue.

Avoid Okanagan Centre Road West, Tyndall Road, Camp Road, and Long Road so emergency responders can do their work.

Boaters are asked to stay off Kalamalka and Woods lakes tonight to help planes pick up water safely.

The flames erupted shortly about four thirty this afternoon near Okanagan Centre Road and 14th Street on the east side of Okanagan Lake.

The blaze is burning north of McKinley Landing.

The fire is threatening structures but it’s unclear how many.

B.C. Wildfire is supporting local firefighters with ground crews, helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.

So far it’s unclear what sparked the fire.


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