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White Rock Lake wildfire: No changes expected for evacuation orders, alerts during long weekend

A map from the Okanagan Indian Band showing areas of rescinded evacuation alerts (green) plus active evacuation alerts (yellow) and orders (red) because of the nearby White Rock Lake wildfire. The massive blaze is considered being held, but it’s still active and is estimated at 83,342 hectares. Okanagan Indian Band

This Labour Day long weekend, Central Okanagan Emergency Operations is predicting no change to the current status of evacuation alerts and orders from the White Rock Lake wildfire.

The massive blaze is considered being held, but it’s still active and is estimated at 83,342 hectares. More than 70 structures in the Central Okanagan were significantly damaged by the fire.

Several areas are still under evacuation alert, and 18 properties on Bouleau Lake Road remain under evacuation order.

Read more: Hedges Butte out-of-control wildfire at 230 hectares

“No change to this status is expected over the weekend,” CORE said in its latest release.

CORE is also asking the public to stay off Westside Road and out of the area.

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Further, returning area residents can only access their properties from the south along Westside Road, as the north end is closed until further notice.

Earlier Friday, evacuation alerts were removed for properties from Caesars Landing to Fintry in the Central Okanagan.

Click to play video: '‘Everything’s gone’: Westside Road evacuees return to properties' ‘Everything’s gone’: Westside Road evacuees return to properties
‘Everything’s gone’: Westside Road evacuees return to properties – Sep 3, 2021

Also Friday, the North Okanagan regional district downgraded evacuation orders to evacuation alerts for properties on Six Mile Creek Road and Siwash Road within Electoral Area B.

Also, the Okanagan Indian Band partially rescinded an evacuation order for areas south of Good Water Drive to Mudhole Road, excluding Mini-Shadows Road.

Residents and the public are also being asked to stay out of the backcountry.

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Skaha Creek wildfire: Penticton Indian Band issues evacuation alert – Sep 1, 2021

And with residents returning, CORE noted that the Regional District of the Central Okanagan (RDCO) has set up a dedicated recovery office for those who’ve experienced significant structural damage.

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Starting Tuesday, those residents can contact the RDCO at 250-469-6111.

Also, the North Westside transfer station will be open daily from 8 a.m. to noon, starting Saturday.

CORE says there will be no limit on the volume of household waste that impacted households can dispose of at this time.

However, CORE said the transfer station is set up to receive bagged waste and non-burnt waste, and that it cannot take building materials, furniture or large appliances such as fridges and freezers. Further, hazardous material and demolition waste, such as wood from damaged structures or burnt vehicles, cannot be accepted.

For fridge and freezer collection, residents are asked to call 1-855-238-9350 to book a pick-up or inquire about self-drop-off options.

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“Residents are reminded to be cautious of potential hazards in the area due to wildfire and fire suppression activity,” said CORE, which also asked residents to call  911 if they see fire threatening homes or areas showing rapid growth.

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