It is not just the human residents of Monte Lake who have been uprooted from their homes after a wildfire ripped through the community last week.
Heartbreaking scenes of animals living among the scorched earth were captured by Global News cameras over the weekend.
A pot-bellied pig was seen snuffling in some of the grass and a rabbit had returned to its wooden enclosure after escaping the flames.
Cows could also be seen grazing on burnt terrain as their habitat has been permanently scarred by the massive White Rock Lake fire.
The White Rock Lake fire is about 55,700 hectares in size and roared through the small community of Monte Lake last week.
It is not yet known how many homes and buildings were destroyed.
Cooler temperatures and some rain created a temporary lull in fire activity Sunday in the area of the blaze near Okanagan Lake.
Fire information officer Forrest Tower said the BC Wildfire Service was trying to capitalize on the “window of opportunity” to get “as ahead of the curve as we can.”
He said the flank of the fire near Okanagan Lake was a surface fire that was not vigorous on Sunday afternoon.
However, the fire has burnt to within 125 metres of Okanagan Lake in places.
Residents in the Monte Lake area who defied evacuation orders were speaking out about what they feel has been an insufficient response by wildfire crews and unfair demonization by provincial officials.
Rob Bouchard, whose home was among those that burned to the ground, returned to the fire zone Saturday and said he’s seen no BC Wildfire Service crews in the area.
“There’s no other help, no outside help. It’s just people who live here running around tirelessly trying to put out fires,” he said.
On Sunday, Farnworth rejected accusations from residents in the fire zone that crews were too slow to tackle the flames, or were throwing anything less than their best effort at it.
“The BC Wildfire Service was on this fire within 30 minutes of it being called in and they’ve been fighting it ever since,” he said.
“It was a very aggressive fire that expanded very quickly. More and more resources were brought in as they were needed. They also had to do tactical evacuations of people in the area.
“They have resources, they have air support, they have all the equipment they need and have been doing an amazing job.”
—With files from Megan Turcato and Simon Little.
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