July 31, 2016 - 1:00 PM
VERNON - A fire burning near homes on the west side of Vernon has been contained.
The aggressive wildfire east of Adventure Bay started shortly after 9 p.m. Saturday, July 30, and grew quickly due to high winds and difficult terrain, stated a release from the City of Vernon. Roughly 60 people were evacuated, with the fire burning about one kilometre from residences.
As of 7:30 a.m. Sunday, July 31, Vernon fire chief Keith Green had good news.
"The (evacuation) order has been rescinded, roads are all open, and displaced residents being advised they can return home. No structures were affected," Green says.
Because of the challenging landscape, B.C. Wildfire is bucketing water by helicopter.
Even though the fires are not all extinguished, crews have contained them and are currently in the mop up stage. Over the next 24 hours, a fire watch is in place for the area.
The blaze was described as a rank two to three fire, which means it was somewhere between a low to moderately vigorous surface fire. A level one emergency operations centre was opened overnight at the Vernon Recreation Centre for evacuees.
Firefighters from Vernon Fire Rescue Services and B.C. Wildfire were on scene overnight and set up a fireguard.
The blaze was highly visible from across Okanagan Lake last night, with many people posting photos on social media.
— This story was updated at 12:55 p.m. July 31, 2016 to add a photo and new information on the 24 hour fire watch.
— This story was updated at 9:15 a.m. July 31, 2016 to correct a misstated day from Saturday July 31 to Sunday July 31.
— This story was updated at 7:35 a.m. July, 31, 2016 to say the fire was contained and the evacuation order rescinded.
— This story was updated at 7 a.m. July 31, 2016 to add information from the City of Vernon and Vernon fire chief Keith Green, and to correct that the fire is located to the west, not east, of downtown Vernon.
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