More evacuation orders, alerts issued for communities as wildfire blazes in North Okanagan | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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More evacuation orders, alerts issued for communities as wildfire blazes in North Okanagan

The White Rock Lake wildfire, Aug. 6, 2021.
Image Credit: B.C. Wildfire Service

More residents have been evacuated from their homes overnight due to a 45,000 hectare wildfire blazing in the North Okanagan region.

The White Rock Lake wildfire is currently listed at 45,000 hectares in size and is considered to be out of control, according to the B.C. Wildfire Service’s latest update from last night.

The fire has prompted additional evacuation orders for the Okanagan Indian Band on IR #1 and Central Okanagan properties north of 8525 Ewings Landing Road.

Chase, Spallumcheen, Armstrong, the District of Coldstream and parts of Vernon northeast of Okanagan Lake are all on evacuation alerts as of last night, Aug. 6.

Other evacuation alerts and orders are still in place in the Regional District of North Okanagan, Columbia-Shuswap Regional District and Thompson-Nicola Regional District. The City of Kamloops remains on alert in the Campbell Creek, Barnhartvale and Dallas areas.

Highway 97 is closed in both directions between Pleasant Valley Road and Monte Creek. Westside Road is also closed in both directions between Pinecrest Road and Six Mile Creek Road.

Last night, southwesterly winds, gusting upwards of 40 km/hr, and Rank 4/5 fire behaviour challenged suppression efforts, according to the wildfire service.

“Structure protection personnel have a roving patrol set up along Westside Road, as well as in the Swan Lake area where personnel are prepared to defend from potential spot fires,” according to the service.

Yesterday, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth urged residents under evacuation orders to leave their homes, as staying behind could hamper wildfire fighting efforts.

“This fire is aggressive and escape routes can be quickly compromised and cut off direction,” he said during a live-streamed press conference. “Staying behind in an evacuated area, not only risks your own life and (family’s life), it also risks the lives of the first responders fighting the fire.”

The White Rock Lake wildfire is currently the province’s highest priority, he said.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 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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