Westside Road wildfire crews looking to cooler, wetter weather to help battle blaze | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna News

Westside Road wildfire crews looking to cooler, wetter weather to help battle blaze

Wildfire crews are catching a break from the weather as the battle against the Westside Road fire near West Kelowna continues.

WEST KELOWNA - Fire crews managed to hold back a surge along the south flank of the Westside Road wildfire using air tankers, helicopters and ground crews yesterday and it's hoped the change with the weather bodes well for the continuing battle.

An incident management team from B.C. Wildfire Service has assumed control of the fire response and says it’s hoping the calmer, cooler weather beginning today, July 23, allows crews to continue the progress made in the last few days.  The forecast from Environment Canada is even calling for rain over the next few day.

Fire information officer Jordan Turner says crews are extending control lines on the fire’s north and south flanks and have begun establishing lines along the west flank.

At least 60 firefighters are fighting the fire, supported by four helicopters, four bulldozers and air tanker support as needed.

An evacuation order for 70 homes near Westside Road remains in effect and the evacuation centre in West Kelown is open.

Power was initially shut off to 1,400 B.C.Hydro customers in and around the fire zone, but the utility said today is has managed to restore power to most customers on a rotating basis. This morning, Hydro delivered diesel generators which will provide power to about 1,000 of those customers. Crews should have the generators integrated into the power system by Friday.

The 460-hectare fire began July 20 and flared up the next day. It is believed to have been started by a lightning strike.

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at jmcdonald@infonews.ca or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

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