UPDATE: Most evacuees on westside of Okanagan Lake can return home | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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UPDATE: Most evacuees on westside of Okanagan Lake can return home

Some of the destruction in the Killiney Beach area of the White Rock Lake wildfire.
September 02, 2021 - 4:26 PM

Most residents evacuated on the North Westside of Okanagan Lake due to the White Lake Rock wildfire can now go home.

Just after 4 p.m. today, Sept. 2, the Central Okanagan emergency operations centre said evacuation orders for Ewings Landing, Killiney Beach and Westshore Estates have been downgraded to evacuation alerts.

The evacuation order remains in place for 18 properties on Bouleau Lake Road and there is no public access to the Bouleau Lake area. A map of the evacuation orders and alert can be seen here. Residents need to return on Westside Road from the south since it's still closed further to the north.

The evacuation order issued for the west side of Irish Creek Road has been rescinded by the North Okanagan Regional District. For more information, a list of addresses and a map go here.

The Okanagan Indian Band has also made changes to evacuation alerts and orders. More information can be found at the band's website here.

The more than 280 residents on the Killiney Beach water system are being told not to consume the water as the system has been damaged and it's unsafe. Boiling will not make it safe, according to a news release from the North Okanagan Regional District.

“We are close to bringing people safely home thanks to the hard work of firefighters of the North Westside Fire Rescue and the men and women from the fire departments from around the province,” North Westside Fire Chief, Alex Van Bruksvoort said in a news release issued earlier today, Sept. 2, by the Central Okanagan emergency operations centre. “It’s almost time to turn the corner, we’re almost there – and we appreciate everyone’s patience during this trying time.”

READ MORE: White Rock Lake wildfire could be contained in a week; still unclear when evacuees can return home

“Residents re-entering the area must enter from the south along Westside Road,” the emergency operations centre said. “Traffic control will be in place to ensure that only local traffic enters into the new alert area.”

While damage assessments have been done, returning residents may face some dangers and need to deal with things like spoiled food and water that is unsafe for drinking.

A video of the returning home information session held yesterday is available here with details of what to do and what to watch out for. More information on returning home is available online at here.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan has also set up a recovery office. Area residents and property owners who experienced significant structural damage will be able to access resources here, by email at recovery@rdco.com or call 250-469-6111.

READ MORE: iN PHOTOS: The devastation left behind by the White Rock Lake wildfire near Vernon

 — This story was updated at 4:25 p.m., Sept. 2, 2021 to say that most residents can now return home.

— This story was updated at 5:39 p.m., Sept. 2, 2021 to add more information from the North Okanagan Regional District.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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