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UPDATE: Significant structure damage caused by wildfires in Central Okanagan

The Mt. Law wildfire near West Kelowna.
Image Credit: Marshall Jones
August 16, 2021 - 9:42 AM

Multiple structures have been damaged in the Central Okanagan by two wildfires burning on the west side of Okanagan Lake, but not a lot of details are being released by authorities.

A news release issued today, Aug. 16, by the Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Centre says “multiple structures in the Killiney area experienced significant damage overnight.”

That area is being impacted by the White Rock Lake wildfire that stretches from there, north past Monte Lake where more than two dozen structures were destroyed earlier this month.

READ MORE: 28 homes, one commercial structure destroyed in Monte Lake area due to wildfire

The emergency operations centre also says that there are early reports of limited structural damage caused by the new Mt. Law wildfire.

“Due to evolving conditions crews have not been able to complete a full assessment of structure damage,” the operations centre states. “More information will be provided to property owners and the media as it becomes available.”

The Mt. Law wildfire is burning north of the Okanagan Connector near the Glenrosa neighbourhood of West Kelowna. It was discovered last night and was estimated to be 200 hectares at 9:30 p.m.

READ MORE: Evacuation order issued for West Kelowna properties threatened by wildfire

See a map of the Mt. Law fire here.

Go here to find out more about evacuation orders and alerts for the Mt. Law fire.

The White Rock Lake fire was discovered on July 13 and, as of 10:48 p.m. yesterday, was estimated to have burned 62,273 ha.

See a map of the White Rock Lake fire here.

Go here for details and maps of the evacuation orders and alerts for the Westside Road area due to the White Rock Lake fire.

“Cooler temperatures are forecast for today and tomorrow, but fires remain out of control and are expected to be active today,” emergency operations centre says. “Central Okanagan and B.C. Wildfire Fire crews will continue suppression efforts on the ground and in the air today. People are asked to stay away from areas close the fires to ensure the access and safety of first responders. Boaters should avoid areas of the lake being used by air support.”

People on evacuation alerts should be prepared to leave with little notice and expect to stay away for an extended period of time. They should make arrangements to stay with friends or family.

The reception centre at Mount Boucherie Secondary School has closed to streamline operations so evacuees can register with Emergency Social Services online at ess.gov.bc.ca. Those needing lodging or other assistance can go to the reception centre at 1480 Sutherland Ave. in Kelowna from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Mt. Law wildfire has triggered the closure of six regional parks until further notice: Trepanier Creek Greenway, Coldham, Goats Peak, Glen Canyon, Gellatly Heritage and Gellatly Nut Farm.

“We never want to close our parks, but in this case keeping everyone safe and not straining our first fire responder resources is more important," Regional District of the Central Okanagan communications officer Bruce Smith said in a news release.

Meanwhile, the City of West Kelowna has closed the following parks for public safety until further notice:

  • Oriole Park
  • Stonegate Park
  • Wild Rose Park
  • Glenrosa Cemetery
  • McMorland Park
  • Glenrosa Park
  • Last Mountain Park
  • Ranch Park
  • Glen Eagles Walkway
  • McIver Park
  • Gates Grove Park
  • Morningside Park
  • Astoria Park
  • Mule Deer Park
  • Glen Abbey Park
  • Glenway Park
  • Wildfire Commemorative Park
  • Webber Road Walkway

The city said in a media release that for the safety of residents, visitors and crews supporting firefighting efforts, the parks and walkways in the Glenrosa neighbourhood will also remain closed until further notice.

 — This story was updated at 10:10 a.m. Aug. 16, 2021 to add information about the regional parks closures.

— This story was updated at 4:51 p.m. Aug. 16, 2021 to add information about West Kelowna park closures.

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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