Public urged to avoid Knox Mountain, Paul’s Tomb area as crews continue wildfire cleanup

An airtanker douses the Knox Mountain Park wildfire with retardant on Saturday afternoon. Lori Sanderson

Despite fire crews gaining the upper hand on the Knox Mountain wildfire, the public is being urged to avoid the area.

“We’re still dealing with flareups and burning tree roots, which can cause ember-filled sink holes,” said Sandra Follack, Deputy Fire Chief, Kelowna Fire Department.

“People and their pets must stay out of the area for the safety of themselves and to avoid interfering with our fire crews and potentially creating a new incident.”

Click to play video: 'Wildfire on Knox Mountain Park in Kelowna on Canada Day'
Wildfire on Knox Mountain Park in Kelowna on Canada Day

According to a Global News reporter near the scene, several cars have already been turned around from the Knox Mountain Park area.

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The 6.5-hectare fire has been deemed as held, meaning it is not expected to grow any further, after fire crews tackled the blaze well into Saturday evening, building a fuel guard and wet line around the perimeter of the fire.

The City of Kelowna, however, is also reminding residents that Knox Mountain Park and the trail to Paul’s Tomb are off limits until further notice, or you could be fined up to $500.

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Lytton, B.C. tries to rebuild 2 years after wildfire tragedy

“City of Kelowna is reminding residents they are prohibited from entering the active fire zone,” the City of Kelowna said in an email to Global News. “Failure to comply will result in an up to $500 fine.”

While evacuation orders for those living in the Knox Mountain, Magic Estates, Poplar Point and the Clifton area have been downgraded to evacuation alerts, residents are being asked to have their bags and personal belongings packed and be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.

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Volunteers from New Zealand help with N.S. wildfire recovery

“Some things to get ready include gathering key documents and medication, a list of key phone numbers, an evacuation plan including a plan for pets and animals, having a full tank of gas in the car and a 72-hour emergency kit,” Central Okanagan Emergency Operations said in an email.


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