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UPDATE: Homes lost in wildfire burning in Kaleden, police say

A reader says these pictures of the Kaleden fire were taken at 4:50 p.m. July 4, 2017.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Lu L
July 04, 2017 - 8:08 PM

PENTICTON - An interface fire is burning in Kaleden.

RCMP Cpl. Don Wrigglesworth says some houses have been lost to the fire.

RCMP have set up road blocks and are evacuating people from lower Kaleden, on Oak Avenue, Maple Street, Tamarack Drive and Ponderosa Drive. As of 6:17 p.m., the fire was three hectares, according to the Okanagan Similkameen Regional District emergency operations. 

Smoke can be seen billowing from the fire at the south end of the South Okanagan community.

Incident Commander Kaleden Deputy Fire Chief Dennis Gaudry says one Kaleden firefighter required medical attention but has since returned to duty.

He says Kaleden was alerted to the fire around 4 p.m. this afternoon after calls of a single tree ablaze. Firefighters responded to multiple fires burning around several homes. Forestry, Okanagan Falls and Penticton fire crews were also called in and air tankers laid down retardent lines before helicopters moved in with buckets.

Gaudry says efforts are being concentrated on the area around 349 Oak Avenue at this time. Several vineyards in the area have been burned and he confirmed at least one outbuilding and one residence damaged or destroyed in the blaze. Heavy smoke is making visibility difficult in the fire area.

Gaudry says an evacuation order will likely be expanded later in the evening, to be largely determined by evening winds.

The fire is at zero containment as of 7 p.m. June 4, Gaudry says.

A reception centre for evacuees has been set up at the Penticton Community Centre at 325 Power Street in Penticton. Evacuees are being asked to attend there to register.

Kaleden Irrigation District officials are asking residents not to use water for irrigation purposes at this time. Hydro has been off and on in the Kaleden area and the district is having issues with one of its pumps as a result.

"Please avoid using water for irrigation, unless it's being used to protect structures from fire," Irrigationi District Office Manager Cheryl Halla says.

Smoke from a wildfire in Kaleden can be seen, Tuesday, July 4, 2017.
Smoke from a wildfire in Kaleden can be seen, Tuesday, July 4, 2017.

Helicopters bucketing from the nearby lake.
Helicopters bucketing from the nearby lake.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Kathryn Sharp

Fixed wing aircraft dropped retardant on the blaze sometime before 5:30 p.m. July 4, 2017.
Fixed wing aircraft dropped retardant on the blaze sometime before 5:30 p.m. July 4, 2017.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Kathryn Sharp

A reader says these pictures of the Kaleden fire were taken at 4:50 p.m. July 4, 2017.
A reader says these pictures of the Kaleden fire were taken at 4:50 p.m. July 4, 2017.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Lu L

A reader says these pictures of the Kaleden fire were taken at 4:50 p.m. July 4, 2017.
A reader says these pictures of the Kaleden fire were taken at 4:50 p.m. July 4, 2017.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Lu L

A reader says these pictures of the Kaleden fire were taken at 4:50 p.m. July 4, 2017.
A reader says these pictures of the Kaleden fire were taken at 4:50 p.m. July 4, 2017.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Lu L

A reader says these pictures of the Kaleden fire were taken at 4:50 p.m. July 4, 2017.
A reader says these pictures of the Kaleden fire were taken at 4:50 p.m. July 4, 2017.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Lu L

An interface wildfire in Kaleden can be seen in this submitted photo, Tuesday, July 4, 2017.
An interface wildfire in Kaleden can be seen in this submitted photo, Tuesday, July 4, 2017.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Kayla Chappell

Heavy smoke surrounds homes on Oak Avenue in Kaleden this afternoon.
Heavy smoke surrounds homes on Oak Avenue in Kaleden this afternoon.

— This post is being updated as news becomes available. 


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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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