Central Okanagan residents evacuated due to wildfire may return home briefly this afternoon | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Central Okanagan residents evacuated due to wildfire may return home briefly this afternoon

The White Rock Lake wildfire, taken Aug. 6, 2021.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Micah Mckerlich
August 07, 2021 - 12:15 PM

The Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Centre is allowing residents to briefly return home this afternoon after they were evacuated last night due to the White Rock Lake wildfire.

All evacuation orders and alerts are unchanged communities along Westside Road in the Regional District of Central Okanagan, according to the centre's news release.

The evacuation order affects approximately 2,127 properties from the northern Regional District of Central Okanagan boundary to the south end of La Casa due to the active White Rock Lake wildfire.

READ MORE: Wildfire burning in North Okanagan grows to 55,000 ha

"A one-time window from 12:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. this afternoon is available for those evacuated late last night who were not able to get back to their homes and campsites. This is only for those in the area from south of Ewings Landing to south of La Casa resort," according to the centre. 

"They are allowed during this time-period to return and retrieve vehicles, trailers and clothing and other essential items required, and exit the area as it remains under evacuation order.  Any returning resident must be out of the area by 3:30 p.m. so they do not get in the way of fire-fighting, endangering the lives of emergency responders."

The approximately 817 properties on evacuation alert must be prepared to leave on short notice, should fire conditions change.  The alert affects communities from south of La Casa to north of Traders Cove.

A detailed map is available showing affected properties online.

"Last night, in addition to structural fire crews with B.C. Wildfire, structural firefighters from Kelowna, West Kelowna, Lake Country, Peachland, North Westside, Joe Rich and Wilson’s Landing fire departments provided patrols through evacuated areas.  They extinguished spot fires and provided other fire protection.  At this point, there are no reports of structural damage.  These crews are continuing to support BC Wildfire Structural fire teams," according to the centre.

The White Rock Lake wildfire at 55,000 hectares in size and remains out of control and challenged suppression efforts.

Emergency Support Services volunteers are staffing a reception centre for residents at 1480 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna.  It’s open today from 12 to 8 p.m. to assist residents with in-person registration, and those requiring food and lodging assistance.  The centre will be open tomorrow at the same time.

Evacuees and those on Alert can also register with ESS online.

Residents with pets and livestock that are on evacuation alert should pre-arrange animal housing needs with family and friends, as there is limited pet boarding available through the Animal Lifeline Emergency Response Team organization.

Non-residents and those visiting in the evacuation area should consider safely returning to their communities as ESS services are strained by evacuees across the province.

Emergency Operations Centre staff are working with other response agencies to manage the situation and minimize the impacts. RCMP are conducting regular patrols in the evacuated area.

Westside Road is closed south of La Casa Lakeside Resort. 


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