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‘Fighting fires in the backyards of homes’: Fire chief on Mount Law fire in West Kelowna

Click to play video: 'Mount Law wildfire in West Kelowna continues threatening homes' Mount Law wildfire in West Kelowna continues threatening homes
Here is a time lapse video showing its aggressive behavior Sunday night taken between 7 p.m and 9 p.m. Video was taken by James Pitcher from the Smith Creek area of West Kelowna – Aug 16, 2021

About 1,000 people have been displaced due to the Mount Law wildfire that erupted Sunday afternoon north of the Okanagan connector and just two kilometres from West Kelowna.

Another 1,900 properties remain on an alert.

The fire, which is currently burning within city limits, is in close proximity to homes in the Glenrosa area.

Read more: Entire city of Merritt, B.C., on evacuation alert due to wildfire

“We are actively fighting fires in the backyards of homes on a number of streets in upper Glenrosa and will continue to do that today,” said Jason Brolund, West Kelowna fire chief.

While he could not say an exact number, Brolund did confirm there was some structural damage overnight.

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Fire behaviour on the Mount Law wildfire in West Kelowna has been described by officials as very aggressive overnight and into Monday morning. Global News

“At this point, we do believe it to be a small number of structures,” Brolund said at a late morning virtual news conference.

Brolund said heavy embers caused a great deal of concern Sunday night with the fire spotting ahead of itself.

Click to play video: 'Wildfire smoke darkens skies in B.C.' Wildfire smoke darkens skies in B.C.
Wildfire smoke darkens skies in B.C – Aug 16, 2021

“That is certainly what drove some of the decisions that were made around the evacuation order areas for example,” he said. “Making sure people were out of the way, so that we could do our work in those neighbourhoods.”

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At the peak of the firefight Sunday, there were 25 trucks from eight local fire departments on scene along with 80 structural firefighters.

“We have eight trucks today from six local fire departments comprising of 25 structural firefighters, who are on the ground and working closely with the B.C. Wildfire Service.

The Mount Law fire in West Kelowna could be seen from all over the Central Okanagan and beyond on Sunday. Global News

The B.C. Wildfire Service has assigned three helicopters and multiple pieces of heavy equipment to the fire.

There is also support from six water skimmers and four retardant air tankers, whose actions will be highly visible to West Kelowna, Kelowna and Peachland throughout the day.

Read more: Structures lost, strong winds and falling ash: Crews battle huge wildfires across B.C.

The fire is suspected to be human-caused and is being investigated.

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Visit the Central Okanagan Emergency Operations website for a list of addresses on evacuation order and alert.

The Emergency Support Services reception centre for evacuated residents due to the Mount Law wildfire is in the gymnasium at Mount Boucherie Secondary at 2751 Cameron Rd. in West Kelowna.

There is also a reception centre at the Salvation Army church at 1480 Sutherland Ave. in Kelowna.

Click to play video: 'Video captures B.C. wildfire burning dangerously close to Coquihalla Highway' Video captures B.C. wildfire burning dangerously close to Coquihalla Highway
Video captures B.C. wildfire burning dangerously close to Coquihalla Highway – Aug 16, 2021

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