At least 200 buildings in Kamloops Fire Centre damaged or destroyed so far this year | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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At least 200 buildings in Kamloops Fire Centre damaged or destroyed so far this year

The Mt. Law wildfire as seen from Peachland on Aug. 15. That fire has significantly damaged one property, as well as a barn though it was already compramised.
August 21, 2021 - 10:34 AM

So far this year, at least 200 structures have been lost to wildfires in the Kamloops Fire Centre, the vast majority of which are in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.

Numbers remain incomplete until they become official in the aftermath, but even preliminary figures show the massive wildfires in the region have taken a great toll, in some communities more than others.

Within the TNRD, the Lytton Creek wildfire has damaged or destroyed 30 structures, said Priscilla Kazarian, acting information officer for TNRD emergency operations centre.

That number doesn’t include losses within the village of Lytton which was destroyed by the wildfire in June. Those figures remain elusive.

The Sparks Lake wildfire damaged or destroyed 52 buildings, Kazarian said, and the White Rock Lake wildfire has seen 53 buildings lost or damaged so far.

A full evaluation hasn’t been conducted on the July Mountain wildfire southwest of Merritt but crews were able to enter some areas, and reported at least two buildings in Kane Valley that were lost or damaged.

“For the other wildfires we don’t still have the numbers yet, we’re still in the thick of things,” she said.

Crews from the Regional District of Central Okanagan are also dealing with the White Rock Lake wildfire, and within their boundaries, it has damaged or destroyed an additional 75 buildings (beyond the 53 damaged or destroyed in the TNRD).

The other wildfire in the Central Okanagan is Mt. Law, which has significantly damaged two buildings, although one was a barn that had already been previously compromised.

Staff at Westbank First Nation are not aware of any other structures lost to the Mt. Law wildfire near West Kelowna and Peachland.

READ MORE: More falls, serious incidents happening as B.C. wildfire crews become fatigued

In the Regional District of North Okanagan, there isn’t any data available because crews can’t get into affected areas yet.

“It’s too dangerous for staff to go in and do a structural assessment,” said Ashley Gregerson, communications officer for the RDNO.

However she has not heard of any structures lost in the region.

In the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary there have not been any structures reported damaged or destroyed to wildfires so far in 2021.

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen has recorded three lost or damaged buildings. All three were either outbuildings or motorhomes, and they were all a result of the Nk’Mip Creek wildfire between Oliver and Osoyoos. One of the motorhomes destroyed in the Nk’Mip Creek fire was on the Osoyoos Indian Band.

It's difficult to compare to previous years since the provincial wildfire reports typically don't include structure losses. In 2003, 239 homes were lost to a wildfire in Kelowna and another 72 homes and nine businesses were lost in McClure.

READ MORE: Communication crucial in B.C. wildfire response: OKIB Chief Louis

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