28 homes, one commercial structure destroyed in Monte Lake area due to wildfire | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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28 homes, one commercial structure destroyed in Monte Lake area due to wildfire

The White Rock Lake wildfire, July 16, 2021.
Image Credit: BC Wildfire Service
August 14, 2021 - 5:01 PM

The Thompson Nicola Regional District has confirmed 28 homes and one commercial structure have been destroyed in the Monte Lake area due to wildfire.

The White Rock Lake wildfire destroyed multiple structures in the Monte Lake and Paxton Valley Road areas, said Andrew Roebbelen, Emergency Operations Centre information officer. The regional district was able to complete an assessment of structures in the area.

Despite a previous report from board chair Ken Gillis that the Monte Lake general store was destroyed, the store is still standing, Roebbelen said.

“I don’t know if it has suffered any damage, so when we report on structures lost, it means it’s no longer standing. If it is still standing it is considered a hurt structure and I don’t have information on hurt structures at this time,” he said.

The regional district has assessed as much as they’re going to in that area, he said.

“Our hearts really go out to the residents and individuals out there. We know that this is a difficult time and we want to be there to support them in any way we can,” he said.

A cold front bringing strong winds through the Thompson-Okanagan this weekend has fire officials on the White Rock Lake fire concerned about potential "ember showers" in the North Okanagan.

The fire is currently 58,000 hectares in size and with limited visibility today, helicopters were grounded for most of the day, according to the B.C. Wildfire Service.

READ MORE: Fire officials concerned wind will blow 'ember showers' through North Okanagan

Smoke limited visibility today meaning helicopters were grounded for most of the day.

Highway 97 reopened last night and the regional district has downgraded evacuation orders to alerts in the Monte Lake and Westwold area.

For more information on current evacuation orders and alerts, visit the regional district’s website.

Other orders and alerts remain in effect for the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District, Regional District of North Okanagan, Splatsin, Okanagan Indian Band, Regional District of Central Okanagan, City of Vernon and Township of Spallumcheen.

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