UPDATE: Wildfire burning east of Kelowna now 20 per cent contained | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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UPDATE: Wildfire burning east of Kelowna now 20 per cent contained

A helicopter, just one of 170 other aircraft, bucketing the Philpott Road wildfire.
Image Credit: Facebook/B.C. Wildfire Service
August 27, 2017 - 10:30 AM

KELOWNA - The Philpott Road wildfire continues to burn in the Joe Rich area, however, despite consistent hot, dry weather and flare-ups that challenged crews throughout the day they managed to contain 20 per cent of the blaze yesterday.

With 20 percent containment crews focused on strengthening a guard along the north flank, the B.C. Wildfire Service reported last night, Aug 26. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation.

As crews continue to battle the blaze the evacuation order has been assessed and approximately 600 residents will be allowed to return home but will remain on alert, according to a Central Okanagan Emergency Operations release issued today, Aug. 27.

The Evacuation Order will be partially rescinded for 263 properties as of 11 a.m. today for the following areas:

  • 3595-8295 Highway 33
  • 1522-1916 Boone Court
  • 2005-2155 Daves Road
  • 7498-7790 Falcon Road
  • 7604-7995 Falcon Ridge Crescent
  • 7010-7410 Goshawk Road
  • 5609-7550 Goudie Road, however, 6785 Goudie Road is excluded
  • 7411-7491 Hawk Road
  • 1306-2098 Huckleberry Road
  • 1114-1395 Jack Pine Road
  • 450-490 Prather Road
  • 4502 Pyman Road
  • 6491-6739 Sun Valley Road, however, 6738 Sun Valley Road is excluded
  • 7305-7320 Trapper Court
  • 12550-14000 Highway 33
  • 2770-3110 Schram Road

Click the link for an interactive map of the evacuation order area and to sign up for emergency e-updates.

The return home is going to be a slow process because of safety reasons so, residents are urged to be patient as RCMP, Ministry of Transportation and Canadian Forces personnel manage people returning home. Many areas where Evacuation Orders have been rescinde are beside areas that remain on Evacuation Order.

Other than household pets, like cats and dogs, animals are not be permitted back in at this time, due to the uncertainty about fire behaviour and the potential for Evacuation Orders to be re-instated if necessary, according to a Central Okanagan Emergency Operations.

Residents on the Falcon Ridge water system are restricted to household use only – no irrigation permitted to preserve water supply to fight the fire.

Highway 33 will be open to alternating, single lane traffic today. Motorists are asking to listen to flaggers and speed limits.

Roadblocks and closures are still in effect and you should exercise caution when driving, especially in areas where people are working or stationed close to the road. Entering areas under evacuation order is prohibited and puts the public and crews at risk.

Fortis B.C. reported they restored power to 435 customers within the evacuation area, with crews working to reestablish service to 45 properties along Philpott Road. For more information, click on the link.

The Willow Park Church located at 439 Highway 33 West is the Emergency Support Services reception centre. The hours of operation today, Aug. 27, are from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Anyone under evacuation order should check in with Emergency Support Services.

Residents affected by the wildfire are eligible for up to $600 financial assistance by registering with Red Cross, according to a Central Okanagan Emergency Operations media release. You can register online or by calling 1-800-863-6582.

For those returning home, active fire suppression continues throughout the area. The Central Okanagan Emergency Operations asks people to stay out of the way of emergency vehicles and crews.

Residents are reminded they may encounter various hazards on private properties as a result of the forest fire. BC Emergency Preparedness has additional information for returning home after a wildfire.

For the very latest updates and information or to see which properties are still under the evacuation order, click the link.

You can also monitor social media on Facebook or Twitter for the latest updates.

— This story was update at 1:09 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017, to include updated information from the Central Okanagan Emergency Operations.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw or call 250-718-0428 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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