Upper Park Rill wildfire triggers evacuation alerts near Oliver, B.C.

Click to play video: 'Upper Park Rill wildfire triggers alerts'
Upper Park Rill wildfire triggers alerts
A wildfire burning in the South Okanagan triggered an evacuation alert for several properties in the area. As our Taya Fast reports, there was some growth on the wildfire however it was not significant. – Sep 18, 2023

Strong winds caused the Upper Park Rill wildfire, burning near Twin Lakes, to flare up over the weekend.

The increased fire behaviour triggered an evacuation alert for several properties in the Willowbrook area Sunday evening.

“We received the recommendation from BC Wildfire that with potential winds and fire behaviour that they were seeing, they’re just wanting to expand the alerts just to allow people to have that heads up, be prepared,” said Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) Emergency Services manager Brittany Seibert.

“With those precautionary measures, we were able to put on the expanded alert last night and notify the public of those alerts, and 13 properties that are currently on.”

Click to play video: 'South Okanagan fires show increased fire activity'
South Okanagan fires show increased fire activity

The alert includes the west side of Willowbrook Road from 2592 Willowbrook Rd., north to the south side of Orofino Road. It will also include Lillian Road, Ripley Lake Recreation Site and the Madden Lake Recreation Site.

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List of Properties on the Evacuation Alert:

  • 2591 Willowbrook Rd.
  • 2609 Willowbrook Rd.
  • 2681 Willowbrook Rd.
  • 2737 Willowbrook Rd.
  • 2807 Willowbrook Rd.
  • 2839 Willowbrook Rd.
  • 2867 Willowbrook Rd.
  • 2895 Willowbrook Rd.
  • 130 Lillian Rd.
  • 170 Lillian Rd.
  • 143 Orofino Rd.
  • 455 Orofino Rd.

“A lot of these properties were previously on alert and those alerts were rescinded on the recommendation of decreased fire behaviour,” said Seibert.

“So with the increase, some of those properties have been added back to the alert list. It is still in the same area as before, but we do have good faith with BC Wildfire Service. They have shared with us that the fire is still contained, and it is a precautionary measure at this time.”

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The RDOS reminds anyone on an evacuation alert to be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice, just in case.

“We always recommend that when people are (on) alert that they do have an emergency plan in place,” said Seibert.

“Make sure they have their grab-and-go bags ready to go, that includes a grab-and-go bag for your pets and having a predesignated area that you will be meeting. Often we provide that recommendation of a community that you can head to for ESS but it is always great for you to have someone that you know you can go stay with.”

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Click to play video: 'Glen Lake wildfire near Peachland grows to 639 hectares'
Glen Lake wildfire near Peachland grows to 639 hectares

Meanwhile, the wildfire is currently estimated to be around 2,000 hectares.

On Monday, 13 wildfire personnel were battling the blaze as well as a helicopter that is responding to the Upper Park Rill Creek fire and the Crater Creek fire near Keremeos.

“With those higher temperatures, lower relative humidities and stronger winds throughout the South Okanagan, we did see some increased activity on the Upper Park Rill wildfire. There was no significant growth,” said BC Wildfire Service Information Officer Shaelee Stearns.

“It was mainly active along that southeast corner where crews have been focusing most of their work –they’ve made really good progress on the areas that have been active over the weekend.”

Stearns went on to say that the increased fire activity happened outside the fire perimeter, and it was growing outwards.

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“Potentially looking at under 10 hectares in growth exhibited yesterday [Sunday],” said Stearns.
Click to play video: 'New fire sparks west of Peachland'
New fire sparks west of Peachland

Despite cooler temperatures and rain in the forecast next week, fire officials say conditions remain dry and people still need to be cautious.

“We’re definitely looking to those cooler temperatures, potentially that decrease in activity depending on how the fires respond to that,” said Stearns.”

“We still have the Category 1 campfire, Category 2, and Category 3 prohibitions in place. It’s still important for people to be aware of the conditions that we’re currently in.”

Click to play video: 'South Okanagan fires remain out of control'
South Okanagan fires remain out of control

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