The Mount Law wildfire that’s burning in the Central Okanagan, near a West Kelowna neighbourhood, is still estimated at 800 hectares and classified as being out of control.
However, Central Okanagan Emergency Operations (CORE) said Tuesday that cooler temperatures and light rain provided some relief to crews, though conditions remain extremely dry.
On Monday, another 18 properties were placed on evacuation alert in the Regional District of the Central Okanagan and Peachland.
CORE advised residents to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.
The fire sparked to life on Sunday and quickly exploded in size.
It was listed as being close to homes in the Glenrosa area of West Kelowna, and adjacent to Highway 97C.
Approximately 1,000 people have been displaced because of an evacuation order, and another 1,900 properties are on evacuation alert.
The expanded evacuation alert includes properties inclusive of 4740 Trepanier Road (northwest end) to 4980 Trepanier Road (southeast end) and:
- 4850 to 4855 MacKinnon Road
- 4802 to 4995 Trepanier Road
- 4902 to 4975 Star Place
Officials also expanded an evacuation order onto Crown land in the southeast corner of the fire. However, it does not include any private property, and the Gorman lumber mill site remains under an evacuation alert.
For Tuesday’s weather, Environment Canada was calling for a high of 20 C, along with cloudy skies and a 40-per-cent chance of showers.
Smoky skies were expected Wednesday, with the forecast for Thursday a mix of sun and cloud with a high of 26 C.
For Friday through Monday, though, cloudy skies are projected, along with the possibility of rain. Environment Canada was calling for a 60-per-cent chance of rain through Sunday, while other forecasts are calling for chances of 10 to 40 per cent.
The emergency centre also asked people to stay away from areas close to the fires to ensure the access and safety of first responders. Boaters should also avoid areas of the lake being used by aircraft support.
BC Wildfire said 22 firefighters, a multitude of personnel from eight local fire departments, three helicopters and multiple pieces of heavy equipment were battling the blaze, as were six water skimmers and four retardant air tankers.
On Monday, West Kelowna fire chief Jason Brolund confirmed the fire had caused some structural damage, though he did not provide details.
No update was given on Tuesday, though Brolund said the immediate focus “includes putting out hot spots, continuing patrols and completing damage assessments when it’s safe to do so.”
He also said “it’s critical for the safety of our crews and suppression efforts that all residents leave and stay out of evacuated areas.”
For more about this fire, visit the BC Wildfire website.