50 to 60 structures damaged or destroyed on west side of Okanagan Lake due to White Rock Lake fire

Click to play video: 'White Rock Lake fire burns dozens of structures overnight'
White Rock Lake fire burns dozens of structures overnight
WATCH: In the North Okanagan it was another nerve wracking night as the White Rock Lake fire advanced, turning the sky dark and forcing new evacuation orders in multiple jurisdictions. As day broke, it was clear the massive blaze had inflicted another round of destruction this time impacting communities on the west shore of Okanagan Lake – Aug 16, 2021

UPDATE: According to the Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Centre , 50 to 60 structures have been significantly damaged or destroyed by the White Rock Lake fire. in the Killiney Beach and Ewings Landing areas on the west side of Okanagan Lake.

ORIGINAL: The BC Wildfire Service confirmed Monday morning that multiple structures have been destroyed by the White Rock Lake wildfire overnight.

“Structures were lost last night,” said Noelle Kekula, fire information officer with the Kamloops Fire Centre.

The structures lost were off Westside Road, in the Killiney area, according to the Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Centre.

Ash is seen falling in the Spallumcheen area near Vernon Sunday night from the White Rock Lake fire. Global News

While exact numbers aren’t being released at this point, the BC Wildfire Service said multiple structures were affected.

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“I’ve heard numbers but I don’t want to say until we’ve got some confirmation,” Kekula said. “There was a significant loss.”

Winds and the drought conditions contributed to extremely aggressive rank 4 and 5 fire behaviour.

“We had a crew that had to pull out and go to a safety zone because their lives were threatened by the fire,” Kekula said. “It was a tough night for us and our crews last night.”

Click to play video: 'Tourists asked to leave B.C. Interior communities as residents prepare for wildfires'
Tourists asked to leave B.C. Interior communities as residents prepare for wildfires

The fire is now pegged at more than 62,000 hectares.

On Sunday evening, the aggressive fire behaviour prompted more people to be evacuated from their homes. That included properties in the southern part of the Township of Spallumcheen, west of Highway 97A.

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The City of Armstrong issued a city-wide evacuation alert for its residents, calling it a precautionary measure due to the rapidly changing conditions of the wildfire.

Some residents in Spallumcheen were evacuated Sunday evening as the White Rock Lake fire continued to behave aggressively.

According to the BC Wildfire Service, there will most likely be a significant increase in fire activity Monday due to the high ride breaking down and being accompanied by strong gusting winds of up to 60 kilometres per hour from the south to southwest.

Heavy equipment, ground crews and helicopters are strategically positioned to priority areas on the fire that are expected to be the most challenging along the north, northeast and east flanks.

“We are doing everything we can but when you have a rank 4 and 5 behaviour, there’s nothing we can do,” Kekula said. “The fires are dictating what is going to happen.”

More to come.

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B.C. wildfires: Monte Lake residents return to devastation


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