August 24, 2016 - 12:35 PM
WESTSIDE ROAD REOPENS
WEST KELOWNA – It’s now safe enough for the people evacuated by the over 52-hectare Bear Creek wildfire north of West Kelowna to return to their homes.
The evacuation alert and order covering about 160 properties on the west side of Okanagan Lake have been lifted by the Central Okanagan Emergency Operation Centre as of 12 p.m., Aug. 24.
The fire is in the mop up stage according to B.C. Wildfire.
The people returned to the roughly 105 evacuated properties in the Traders Cove subdivision will need to be aware firefighters are still working on the wildfire west of Westside Road.
“Visible smoke and flames may be seen as B.C. Wildfire Service firefighters remain in the area working over the next few days to completely extinguish the fire,” a media release from the Emergency Operation Centre says. “Those returning may encounter various hazards on private properties as a result of the wildfire.”
Although power has been restored to the evacuated area, the emergency operation centre warns returning residents food in freezers and refrigerators may not be safe to eat because the electricity was out for some time.
The Emergency Support Services reception centre at the Lions Hall in West Kelowna has been closed.
Along with the evacuation order and alert being rescinded, Westside Road is now open to traffic. Drivers are being asked to use caution and be watching for fire and utility crews working in the area.
The campground at Bear Creek Provincial Park is scheduled to reopen at 3 p.m.
Bear Creek Forest Service Road will remain closed to all but local traffic until further notice.
No word yet on the cause of the wildfire, burning since Sunday, Aug. 21.
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