'Too close for comfort:' Residents in path of Christie Mountain wildfire worried about forecast | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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'Too close for comfort:' Residents in path of Christie Mountain wildfire worried about forecast

Christie Mountain wildfire, Aug. 20.
Image Credit: Steve Arstad
August 21, 2020 - 11:35 AM

An Okanagan Falls resident can see the smoke of the Mount Christie wildfire from her driveway on 7 Avenue, which she says is “too close for comfort.”

Laila Bontorin is currently staying with her boyfriend in Penticton and although neither of their homes are under an evacuation alert, her place of work at Penticton’s Value Village is.

She said she’s “freaking out.”  As a single mother living in a basement suite, she’s concerned because she doesn’t have rental insurance.

“I've worked hard as a single mom to get what I have,” she said.

While weather yesterday seems to have calmed the fire down considerably, her neighbourhood is still quite concerned about the forecast.

“I'm on edge and nervous, more so today knowing that lightning and high winds are in the forecast,” she said. “If the winds shift, it’s going to head our way."

READ MORE: Christie Mountain wildfire in Penticton grows to 2,000 hectares

The wildfire is currently burning six kilometres north of Okanagan Falls on the east side of Skaha Lake. It has caused thousands of people to be placed on evacuation alert in Penticton. An evacuation order is in effect for more than 300 properties in the Regional District of the Okanagan Similkameen's electoral area D. One home has been lost.

The City of Penticton is preparing in the event of an evacuation.

Residents may see city and fire crews setting up structural protection efforts, which may include setting up equipment, gathering information and talking to residents and neighbours to prepare in the event of an evacuation. Residents have been asked to steer clear of equipment and crews.

READ MORE: Penticton establishing protection for structures in event of evacuation

The Penticton Regional Hospital has also started moving patients out of its facility in preparation for an evacuation.

At Value Village, they’ve been directed to unplug power outlets in preparation of an evacuation, she 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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