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UPDATE: Bear Creek evacuation alerts, orders in effect overnight

A firefighter works a ridge putting out hot spots in the Bear Creek wildfire, Monday, Aug. 22, 2016
August 23, 2016 - 8:19 PM

UPDATE 6:36 p.m. Aug. 23: all evacuation alerts and orders remain in effect overnight.

KELOWNA – There may be more smoke visible from the 52-hectare Bear Creek wildfire in West Kelown today but B.C. Wildfire says firefighters have it 75 per cent contained.

Approximately 50 B.C. Wildfire firefighters along with crew from at least three local departments are working on hot spots today, Aug. 23. They are being aided by one helicopter and one water truck, B.C. Wildfire spokesperson Max Birkner says.

“It’s going to be a bit warmer today and that’s why we expect to see more (candling and ground fires) but we’re not expecting it to spread,” he says.

The evacuation order remains in place for 105 properties in Traders Cove and Bear Creek Provincial Park, according to the regional district emergency operation centre.

An evacuation alert covers residents of 51 properties on Bear Creek Road north of the Parkinson Road intersection including Dougmac Road, Rose Valley Road and Petterson Road, as well as 14 properties in the Pine Point subdivision off Westside Road, north of Traders Cove.

Those who left vehicles, trailers, tents and other gear at Bear Creek Provincial Park when it was evacuated were allowed to temporarily return to reclaim their belongings last night and this morning.

RCMP continue to conduct security patrols of the evacuated area and the Emergency Support Services Reception Centre in West Kelowna continues to operate.

There is currently no electricity through the fire evacuation area and infrastructure such as power poles will need to be replaced and power and telecommunications lines put back in place, a release from the Emergency Operation Centre says.

Westside Road is closed between Bear Creek Provincial Park and Traders Cove.

No word yet on the cause of the wildfire.

— This story was updated at 10:17 a.m., Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2015 to include information from the EOC about downed power poles and untility lines.

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