Smith Creek fire continues to burn within perimeter; evacuees still waiting to go home
Howard Alexander - News Editor
A water drop from one of the air tanker group working to put out the Smith Creek Wildfire on Friday, July 18, 2014. About 2,500 people remain evacuated. The fire size is unchanged at 260 hectares and remains 30 percent contained.
(ADAM PROSKIW / iNFOnews.ca)
July 20, 2014 - 9:54 AM
WEST KELOWNA – Still no word from the Emergency Operations Centre on when the evacuation order that forced about 2,500 people from their homes will be lifted as progress continues to be made on the Smith Creek wildfire.
Members of the Unified Incident Command are assessing the progress made overnight in the fight against the fire in a meeting Sunday morning.
The blaze remains about 260 hectares in size and 30 per cent contained.
Crews spent the night patrolling the fire guards and putting out hotspots. During the day, most of the fire activity is within the red retardant perimeter created by the air tankers.
The commanders will also be discussing Sunday whether any changes should be made to the evacuation orders and alerts. It’s all about safety at this point. Officials are assuring evacuated residents that they are working as quickly as possible to figure out when it will be safe for them to return home.
Some of the evacuees will have to check out of their hotels Sunday morning while their status under the evacuation order is evaluated. The Emergency Support Services Reception Centre at Mount Boucherie Secondary School in West Kelowna remains open to help with that review.
RCMP are patrolling the evacuated areas to prevent break-ins and theft at the abandoned homes.
Along with the 2,500 people evacuated, there are still about 2,500 under an evacuation alert.
Residents living west of the W.R. Bennett Bridge continue to be asked to restrict their household water use and to not water outdoors in order to provide an adequate water supply for the firefighting effort.
Emergency response personnel also request that the public avoid the Smith Creek area so emergency responders can effectively perform their duties, boaters stay away from the active area, monitor www.cordemergency.ca, www.facebook.com/CORDEmergency, or www.twitter.com/CO_Emerg for confirmed information about the situation, please only call 911 in case of emergency and if you have questions call 250-469-8490.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014