South Okanagan wildfire forced evacuation of raptors from rehab centre - InfoNews

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South Okanagan wildfire forced evacuation of raptors from rehab centre

The Eagle Bluff wildfire forced the evacuation of the South Okanagan Rehabilitiation Centre for Owls on Sunday night, Aug. 4, 2019.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED /B.C. Wildfire
August 06, 2019 - 12:07 PM

OLIVER - Dale Belvedere with the South Okanagan Rehabilitation Centre for Owls has been very busy since the Eagle Bluff wildfire broke out north of Oliver on the long weekend.

Belvedere was awakened by a passing motorist late Sunday evening, Aug. 4, after the driver spotted the fire and realized Belvedere was living there.

“They came down the driveway honking and yelling and woke me up. That’s when I saw it,” she said.

Fire officials came by shortly afterwards and assessed Belvedere’s situation.

“They said if it jumped the creek, which it had a good chance of doing, we would just be gone,” she said.

Belvedere spent most of Sunday night evacuating 38 birds from the centre. Burrowing Owl Conservation Society of B.C., which shares the property with the rehab centre had 30 birds, while Belvedere had eight. All the birds were transferred to the B.C. Wildlife Park in Kamloops.

Belvedere said she remains on the property for security reasons but will be evacuating if advised. The rehab centre is one of the properties under evacuation alert in the area.

The Eagle Bluff wildfire continues to burn out of control as of today, Aug. 6.

“They’re doing a great job, from what I’ve seen. They are fighting it very aggressively, and they’ve been at it today since 6 o’clock this morning,” she says.

— This story was corrected at 1:38 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, to say South Okanagan Rehabilitation Centre for Owls shares the property with Burrowing Owl Conservation Society of B.C.

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