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Summerland equestrian centre suffers financial blow due to Mount Eneas wildfire

Click to play video: 'Summerland equestrian centre suffers financial blow due to Mount Eneas wildfire' Summerland equestrian centre suffers financial blow due to Mount Eneas wildfire
Summerland equestrian centre suffers financial blow due to Mount Eneas wildfire – Jul 26, 2018

Shelly White is relieved to be back at her equestrian centre near Garnet Valley Road and Wildhorse Road in Summerland.

The area was evacuated on July 19 as the Mount Eneas wildfire sprung to life.

READ MORE: B.C. wildfires map 2018: Current location of wildfires around the province

“There was fire right above my neighbour’s house, trees candling, we ended up having to move,” she told Global Okanagan on Thursday.

Thirty horses were moved to safer ground, but that meant the breeding farm and boarding stable took a major financial hit.

WATCH BELOW: Summerland resident describes 4-day evacuation due to Mount Eneas wildfire

Click to play video: 'Summerland resident describes 4-day evacuation due to Mount Eneas wildfire' Summerland resident describes 4-day evacuation due to Mount Eneas wildfire
Summerland resident describes 4-day evacuation due to Mount Eneas wildfire – Jul 25, 2018

White said her business came to a standstill with estimated losses of $2000 to $3000 in four days.

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“My income has stopped, my business has stopped because we don’t have the horses here to do lessons,” she said.

White laid partial blame on the BC Wildfire Service for what she calls a lacklustre initial response to the fire.

READ MORE: 2018 fire season: More fires, less burning; EOC deactivating for now

“I think there might have been a chance for it to be put out a lot sooner than it was,” she said.

Click to play video: 'Extended: Chris Gailus gets a birds-eye view of the Mount Eneas wildfire fight' Extended: Chris Gailus gets a birds-eye view of the Mount Eneas wildfire fight
Extended: Chris Gailus gets a birds-eye view of the Mount Eneas wildfire fight – Jul 23, 2018

WATCH ABOVE: Extended: Chris Gailus gets a birds-eye view of the Mount Eneas wildfire fight

The BC Wildfire Service said the Mount Eneas blaze was just one of several that sprung to life in the Okanagan on July 17.

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Fire Information Officer Brenna Ward said there were 23 new fire starts within the Kamloops Fire Centre on July 17 and nine new wildfires the following day.

She pointed out how no lives or structures were lost during the outbreak, “which we believe speaks to the success of the wildfire service response operations,” she said.

Also taking a financial hit is the local tourism industry, according to the Summerland Chamber of Commerce.

“The biggest things we’ve noticed is an immediate drop in our visitors to the visitors centre,” said president Nick Ibuki.

The Garnet Valley roadblock was dismantled on Thursday and all evacuation orders and alerts lifted.

READ MORE: BC Wildfire Service merges Mount Eneas and Munro Creek wildfires

Businesses are hoping they can recover from a wildfire that caused damage in more ways than one.

“A lot of people think the entire Okanagan is closed to fires but that’s not the case,” Ibuki said.

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