Dozens of structures damaged by wildfires along Westside Road: emergency officials | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Dozens of structures damaged by wildfires along Westside Road: emergency officials

The Mt. Law wildfire as seen from Peachland on Aug. 15, 2021.
August 16, 2021 - 12:34 PM

Between 50 and 60 structures in the Killiney Beach and Ewings Landing area north of West Kelowna have been damaged by the White Rock Lake wildfire.

B.C. Wildfire Service officials, at a news briefing today, Aug. 16, could not say how severe that damage was but will have crews in as soon as it is safe to do so to evaluate them.

There may have been some structures damaged in the Glenrosa area of West Kelowna by the Mt. Law fire but crews are too busy right now putting out spot fires right up to the back yards of some homes to do a tally, West Kelowna Fire Rescue Chief Jason Brolund said during the news conference.

Complicating the firefighting efforts in the Killany Beach and Ewings Landing areas was the fact than 10 people who had refused orders to leave their homes had to be rescued.

“Last night, the North Westside Fire rescue boat was pulled away from fire suppression duties multiple times to rescue people who had not left the area on the west side of Okanagan Lake,” one official said.

Ground crews had to pull out last night after working 16 to 18 hours then went back in at 2 a.m., officials said. The fire had crossed and was burning on both sides of Westside Road.

Both fires are burning aggressively and are deemed to be out of control with the Mt. Law fire near Glenrosa growing to 800 hectares in size since yesterday.

Winds that have been blowing from the south or southwest in recent days are expected to shift and start blowing from the north in the coming days.

That doesn’t necessarily mean the fires will burn back on themselves.

“For White Rock Lake, along the west side for the lake, we have a north and south flank on it so, whichever way the wind blows, from the north or from the south, it affects this fire,” a B.C. Wildfire official said. “It will continue to grow whichever way the wind blows and it even is growing without the wind because of the dryness of the fuels and the conditions that are out there.”

The same holds true for the Mt. Law fire, another official said.

Evacuation orders have been issued for 1,463 properties along Westside Road, affecting about 3,000 people. Another five properties are on evacuation alert.

There are 461 properties under evacuation order due to the Mt. Law fire, affecting about 1,000 people. An additional 1,900 people are on evacuation alert.

To get more information and maps on these evacuation orders and alerts, go here.

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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