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One of B.C.’s most destructive fires, at White Rock Lake, now considered being held

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In a rush of good news on Thursday afternoon, officials announced that the White Rock Lake wildfire in B.C.’s Southern Interior is now considered being held.

The BC Wildfire Service made the announcement just before 6 p.m., stating the wildfire is not likely to spread beyond determined containment lines due to the suppression carried out by firefighters.

Stretching from Monte Lake in the north to the northwestern shores of Okanagan Lake, the fire is estimated at 83,342 hectares and destroyed scores of properties, including 78 structures in the Central Okanagan.

Read more: B.C. wildfires, evacuation orders continue to drop

“Over the last 52 days, firefighters and support personnel from around the world have maintained response efforts on the White Rock Lake wildfire,” BC Wildfire said Thursday.

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“Managing a wildfire of this size and complexity requires the skill and knowledge of many people. At its peak, the fire camp in Vernon housed over 500 people directly engaged in wildfire response.

“The BC Wildfire Service thanks the commitment of heavy equipment operators, helicopter pilots, camp kitchen operators, facility managers, incident support staff, security staff, among countless others, to keep firefighters supported on the ground.”

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In related news, residents of three Central Okanagan neighbourhoods that were under evacuation orders because of the White Rock Lake wildfire were given the green light to return home on Thursday afternoon.

Just before 4 p.m., Central Okanagan Emergency Operations (CORE) announced that evacuation orders for Ewings Landing, Killiney Beach and Westshore Estates neighbourhoods were rescinded and downgraded to evacuation alerts.

CORE said residents who re-enter the area must do so from the south, along Westside Road, as the north end of the road remains closed until further notice.

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It said no access will be permitted from the north to any properties within the Central Okanagan regional district.

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CORE also said non-residents should avoid using Westside Road between Firwood and Irish Creek roads.

It also said in order to help with managing traffic flows, residents returning to Westshore Estates are asked to consider postponing their return until after 5 p.m., and that there is no access to Parker Cove.

“Residents may find a number of hazards in their homes or on their properties,” said CORE, which is also recommending that returning residents bring bottled water with them.

“As a result of wildfire damage, a do-not-consume notice is in place for the Killiney water system,” said CORE.

“This water should not be used for drinking, making beverages, brushing teeth or food preparation.”

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CORE also said Killiney is also under Stage 4 water restrictions, which means no outdoor water use, except what is required for health and safety.

Residents may return home for the following properties in Ewings Landing and Killiney Beach:

  • Attenborough Road
  • Beachwood Road
  • Blarney Place
  • Brant Road
  • Elliot Road
  • Ewings Landing Road
  • Portion of Fintry Estates (Parcel at the end of Houghton Rd)
  • Galway Place
  • Hodges Road
  • Homer Crescent
  • Houghton Road
  • Keithley Road
  • Kenyon Road
  • Kilarney Place
  • Kildare Way
  • Kilkenny Place
  • Killarney Place
  • Killarney Way
  • Killeney Beach
  • Killeney Place
  • Leah Road
  • Lester Road
  • Marchbank Road
  • Moody Crescent
  • Nerie Road
  • Sugar Loaf FSR
  • Udell Road
  • Westside Road (from 8645 to 9995)
  • Portions of Westside Road N.
  • Winchester Drive
  • Winchester Road
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Residents may return home for all properties in Westshore Estates including:

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  • Alder Drive
  • Bluebird Drive
  • Cedar Drive
  • Columbia Way
  • Crown Crescent
  • Dogwood Drive
  • Evergreen Way
  • Hemlock Drive
  • Hillcrest Way
  • Hillside Drive
  • Lakewood Road
  • Lakeview Drive
  • Larch Road
  • Maple Drive
  • Morningside Drive
  • Mountain Drive
  • Northern View Drive
  • Pinecrest Road
  • Spruce Drive
  • Westshore Road
  • Westside Road
  • Valley Drive

CORE says an evacuation order remains in place for 18 properties on Bouleau Lake Road, and there is no public access to the Bouleau Lake area.

The Everly Recreation Site remains closed to the public.

CORE also says additional security is in place in fire-impacted zones to support the return of residents to their neighbourhoods.

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