Wildfires forcing evacuations in the Okanagan

Aug 22 2016, 6:27 pm

There are two large fires burning in the Okanagan and neither are contained.

Image: CKNW

Image: CKNW

One is in West Kelowna, where there is an Evacuation Order affecting approximately 156 properties and remains in place for the Bear Creek Provincial Park campground and another 14 properties are under an Evacuation Alert.

60 people have registered at an Emergency Support reception Centre in West Kelowna.

The Central Okanagan Regional District says no homes have been lost.

The Bear Creek fire is estimated at 25 hectares in size.

Meanwhile, a second fire just outside of Okanagan Falls is now 50% contained.

Meteorologist Wesla Wong says wind conditions are challenging for firefighters on scene because of gusty and changing winds.

At least two people have been evacuated from Okanagan Falls.

Steven Anderson is a resident in Okanagan Falls, on the other side of the river from where the blaze is and he can see how high the flames are…

“maybe 20 feet, a lot of trees on fire, right now I’m looking at a couple hundred trees probably on fire.”

Global News Reporter Neetu Garcha is there.

“I’m looking at a blanket of flames that have just covered the south side and a portion of the north side of this mountain here in O-K falls.

I spoke to two evacuees who are watching very much on edge and the flames are roaring pretty close to their home. And residents, one who has lived here since 1999, who said he’s never seen anything like this before in their small community. Many are left shocked and stunned, residents are just out standing in shock as these flames roar on.

Now firefighters say it will be a while before they have this blaze contained but winds are dying down so that is working in their favour.”

OK Falls Fire chief Bob Haddow says the cause of that wildfire was electrical, possibly a downed power line.

Originally posted on CKNW.com