The Okanagan Mountain Park wildfire is burning in the hills south of Kelowna. Image: Instagram/c_kirzinger

Evacuation numbers remain at nearly 1,000 as B.C. wildfires rage on

200 firefighters and 18 helicopters were working to increase the containment of the fires

Officials in British Columbia’s Okanagan region were hopeful that fire crews could aggressively tackle the flames on Saturday, as the weather forecast called for more cloud cover and less wind than in recent days.

Spokeswoman Noelle Kekula with the region’s complex incident team said that while some wildfires in the Okanagan stayed the same size overnight, others grew slightly.

“Over the last day we have seen that the (fires) have stayed within our containment lines,” Kekula said. “So they’re just growing a bit, but staying within our containment lines.”

The number of properties under evacuation order or alert remains at nearly 1,000 as the fires continue to burn in the popular tourist area of the province’s southern Interior.

Kekula said that about 200 firefighters and 18 helicopters were working to increase the containment of the fires and get water on the perimeter.

“In the Okanagan complex, our priorities are life, property and infrastructure, and with any of those three, that’s where we’re focusing our attention on,” she said.

Earlier this week a lightning storm hit the region, which spans from Salmon Arm in the north to Osoyoos in the south.

Cameron Baughen, spokesman for the emergency operation centre in the southern part of the Okanagan region, said on Saturday evening that there were 30 properties under evacuation order.

He also said about 200 properties were under an evacuation alert, which means that residents can go back to their homes, but they must leave immediately if told that the fire has gotten worse.

In the central part of the region, 766 properties were on alert, but none were on evacuation order.

Okanagan is the province’s main wine-making region and is a popular tourist area for travellers from B.C., Alberta and the U.S.

Kekula said one fire that is taking up significant amount of resources to contain is called the Mount Eneas fire, which spans about 13.7 square kilometres.

— By Alanna Rizza in Toronto

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Council approves second hotel at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Revelstoke City Council has approved the development permit for a second hotel… Continue reading

Former CAO of Revelstoke hired by Osoyoos

Allan Chabot resigned earlier this month after serving as CAO from 2015

Three Valley Gap rock fall fencing system complete

The new fencing system is approximately 122 metres long

Policy and procedure reviews in city departments on the plate for Revelstoke

The city outlined their future plans in their 2018 annual report

Unexpected snow on Okanagan Connector, Pennask Summit

As of 6:50 a.m. DriveBC cameras displayed surprise snowfall on highway

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

North Okanagan-Shuswap MP defends dedication to constituents

LETTER: Mel Arnold says he is open and accessible

Okanagan smash-and-grab nets electric bike

Rock thrown through front door of Southward Medical Supplies, bike grabbed from near door

Home care for B.C.’s elderly is too expensive and falls short: watchdog

Report says seniors must pay $8,800 a year for daily visits under provincial home support program

B.C. ‘struggling’ to meet needs of vulnerable youth in contracted care: auditor

Auditor general says youth in contracted residential services may not be getting support they need

Funds needed for special diving team to find missing Okanagan kayaker

Zygmunt Janiewicz was last seen on Okanagan Lake May 17

In 2019, 21 fires in Vernon to Penticton zone have been human caused, some linked to cigarette butts

Lake Country councillors want stricter regulations, more signage on public smoking

Okanagan school digs up $2,500 recycling prize

Kalamalka Secondary students recognized for establishing a new culture of recycling

Billboard posted along B.C.’s Highway of Tears to remember missing and murdered Indigenous women

Billboards featuring Indigenous artwork to be placed in Surrey, Kamloops and near Prince George

Most Read