Thursday, July 24th12°C
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Final evacuees going home

The Evacuation Order for one property on Dixie Road will be rescinded as of 1:00 p.m. today (Wednesday) and an Evacuation Alert will be put into place instead for this property.

Dixie Road will also remain closed to all but local traffic.

The Evacuation Order for seven other uninhabited properties immediately above Smith Creek, Tallus Ridge and Shannon Woods Neighbourhoods remains in place.  

A Local State of Emergency continues to exist in West Kelowna as the Smith Creek Fire remains active.

Approximately 1,100 homes remain on Evacuation Alert and residents should be prepared to leave their homes with little or short notice.

For their own safety, the public is requested to stay out of fire-affected areas and to obey all warning and hazards signs. The Evacuation Order area, including parks, trails and public and private lands, remains closed to the public.  

The Smith Creek Fire is estimated at 280 hectares in size and is 60 per cent contained.  

A post-wildfire assessment of the area is being conducted Wednesday by qualified professionals. The immediate weather forecast is predicting rain, and wildfire activity followed by periods of rain can cause erosion or debris flows.  

The latest information and updated maps of the Evacuation Order and Evacuation Alert areas are available at www.cordemergency.ca. Read updated posts at www.facebook.com/CORDEmergency or follow our tweets at www.twitter.com/CO_Emerg. The public information line is 250-469-8490. 



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Girl bitten by bull dog

Four-year-old Summer Schneider gives her little dog Keko a big hug on the front steps of her West Kelowna home. The young girl is full of life, despite being bitten on the back of the head by a Bull Dog and having to undergo plastic surgery.

The incident happened Monday afternoon; Summer had been playing with friends in the backyard when she decided to visit a neighbour on the other side of the fence. It was only moments later Summer’s grandmother, Karen Moore, heard the screaming which sent her running from inside the house to find out what happened.

“Right away I knew that something had happened, so I went running out and the woman across the fence handed me Summer, I could see she was covered in blood,” says Moore. “She just said ‘a dog bit her’.”

Several neighbours came running to Moore’s aid, all three of them nurses at Kelowna General Hospital.

David Maynes-Tourond, who has worked in the emergency room of the hospital, described Summers wounds as severe.

“It was a head injury, so there was lots of blood,” he says.

"The laceration on the back of her head was fairly long and not in uniform shape, there was a curve on the top of her skull, it had folded over, her hair had folded into her scalp.”

Summer spent the night at the hospital and was released with her head bandaged on Tuesday morning.

“It doesn’t hurt anymore,” says the young girl.

“She is acting like nothing has ever happened, she is doing great,” explains a still shaken up grandmother.

The dog allegedly belonged to a neighbour, and Summer had played with the pup in the past. Castanet contacted dog control who reportedly attended the scene, but were unable to find the animal. An investigation is underway, however Moore believes the dog was relocated to Alberta.  

“We assumed she was going up the stairs too fast and the dog was in a defensive mood, protecting his property and his family,” Moore says. “We really don’t know and the owners don’t really know what really happened.”

Now, this West Kelowna family is working together to ensure Summer makes a full physical recovery, but they're also hoping their child hasn’t been emotional scared by this traumatic experience.

“I don’t like mean dogs,” cries Summer.

“When this happened she asked for her own dog so there has been no repercussions so far,” adds Moore. “But I mean if anything does happen we will get her some counselling and get her some help.”

Summer is to get staples removed from her head next week, and will be reassessed at the time.

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Smith Creek fire

UPDATE: 5 P.M.

The Smith Creek Forest Fire, which began Thursday, July 17, is currently 60% contained. BC Forest Service crews are working to achieve 100% containment and West Kelowna Fire Rescue will continue to patrol interface areas to ensure the fire does not spread to residential areas.

An Evacuation Order for the Smith Creek Fire remains in effect for eight privately owned lots in the interface areas immediately above Smith Creek, Tallus Ridge and Shannon Woods Neighbourhoods, including all properties accessed off Dixie Road. Two residents living on a property accessed off Dixie Road remain under Evacuation Order, the other properties are unoccupied.

The Evacuation Order area, including parks, trails and public and private lands, is closed to the public, including Wildhorse Park and Tallus Park.

The Smith Creek Fire remains active and approximately 2,500 residents who have returned to more than 1,100 homes remain on Evacuation Alert and should be prepared to leave on short notice. The public must stay out of fire-affected areas for their own safety and obey all warning and hazards signs.

With weather forecasts indicating potential for heavy rain, the fire department is monitoring the area for potential run-off from fire affected areas and the District’s Engineering Department has been placed on standby.

Residents are asked if they see any fire activity related to the Smith Creek fire, not to call 9-1-1 as crews will still be actively working in the area and monitoring the situation.

The latest information, including street names and property descriptions, that remain under Evacuation Order, and street names that remain on Evacuation Alert can be found at www.cordemergency.ca along with an interactive map of the Evacuation Order and Alert areas.

Further updates will be posted, on an as needed basis, at www.cordemergency.ca.


Another good day for crews fighting the Smith Creek wildfire above the hills in West Kelowna.

Cooler temperatures and lighter winds Monday allowed crews to work on hot spots and flare ups within the perimeter of the fire.

The forecast continues to be favourable with temperatures expected in the mid 20's today (Tuesday).

Some rain is forecast today, with 10mm to 15mm expected to fall Wednesday. Thunderstorms are also predicted for Wednesday.

Lower humidity levels may result in more smoke and periodic open flames inside the fire containment area.

Officials say that while many visible signs of fire activity have been reduced, the public is reminded that work does continue. Crews will be using local roads to access the fire and the public may notice increased traffic volumes. Motorists are asked to use caution on and around the roadways.

The fire has not grown over the past 72 hours and remains at 260 hectares in size with 60 per cent containment.

"Our objectives are to safeguard the homes along the base of the fire and reinforce guards that have been established," says Fire Information Officer, Melissa Welsh.

Crews will work to establish 50 feet of wet line around the entire fire perimeter.

The Smith Creek fire began last Thursday afternoon.

All but a few of the estimated 2,500 people forced from their homes remain on evacuation order.

Those allowed to return home remain on evacuation alert and must be ready to leave at a moments notice.

The fire has been deemed to be human caused, however an exact cause is not known and may never be known.



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No change to evac. orders

3:25 p.m. update:

An Evacuation Order for the Smith Creek Fire remains in effect for eight privately owned lots in the interface areas immediately above Smith Creek, Tallus Ridge and Shannon Woods Neighbourhoods, including all properties accessed off Dixie Road.

12 p.m. update:

The Evacuation Order has been lifted for additional residents living near the Smith Creek fire in Tallus Ridge. But an order remains in place for eight large, rural, private properties in the interface areas immediately above Smith Creek, Tallus Ridge and Shannon Woods Neighbourhoods, including all properties accessed off Dixie Road.

The Smith Creek Fire continues to remain active and residents returning to their homes will remain on Evacuation Alert and should be prepared to leave their homes on short notice.

The public must stay out of fire-affected areas for their own safety and obey all warning and hazards signs. The Evacuation Order area, including parks, trails and public and private lands, remains closed to the public, including Wildhorse Park and Tallus Park.

Residents are asked if they see any fire activity related to the Smith Creek fire, not to call 9-1-1 as crews will still be actively working in the area and monitoring the situation.

An Evacuation Alert remains in effect for the following areas:

The following roads in the Smith Creek Neighbourhood:

·         Asquith Road

·         Bridal Hill Court

·         Bridal Hill Drive

·         Copper Ridge Drive

·         Copper Ridge Court

·         Copper Ridge Place

·         Copper Ridge Way

·         Doucette Drive

·         Harold Road

·         Ironridge Place

·         Ironridge Road

·         Rhinestone Road

·         Shetler Drive

·         Sandberg Road

·         Sageview Road

·         Saddleridge Drive

·         Sugosa Place

·         Salish Road

·         Smith Creek Road

·         Stone Ridge Drive

·         Summerview Place

·         Summerview Court

·         Telcor Place

·         Twin Place

·         Whispering Hills Drive

·         Wild Horse Drive

The following roads in the Alexandria Neighbourhood:

·         Alexandria Way

·         Shannon Lake Road

The following roads/properties in the Tallus Ridge Neighbourhood:

·         Boulder Lake Boulevard

·         Cobblestone Road

·         Pebble Place

·         Stone Grove Crescent

·         Tuscany Drive

·         Tallus Ridge Drive (including 2390 Tallus Ridge Drive)

The following roads in the Shannon Woods Neighbourhood:

·         Shannon Woods Drive

·         Shannon Woods Place

·         Shannon Woods Way

·         Shannon Woods Cres

·         Shannon Hills Drive

·         Shannon Hills Place

·         Shannon Heights Court

·         Shannon Heights Place

·         Big Sky Drive

·         Mountains Hollow Lane

·         Paramount Drive

·         Ryser Place

·         Tallus Heights Drive

·         Tallus Green Crescent

·         Tallus Green Place

The Evacuation Order is still in effect for:

·         2850 Dixie Road

·         Remainder Part West ½ DL3478,

·         Remainder Part East ½ DL3478 & DL3478

·         Remainder Part North ½ of W ½ DL3485

·         Lot 27 DL 3485 Plan KAP58401

·         Lot 1 DL2600 & 3793 Plan KAP84074

·         Remainder DL2600 Plan KAP44535

·         Remainder DL3793 Plan KAP44535

The Evacuation Alert has been lifted for:

  •   Bartley Road
  •   Lenz Road.

The latest information and updated maps of the Evacuation Order and Evacuation Alert areas are available at www.cordemergency.ca.

RCMP will be in the area to ensure an orderly re-entry and to enforce road blocks in areas where Evacuation Orders are still in effect.  When returning home, be cautious in your neighbourhood and watch out for:

  •    Charred power poles and trees that may be unstable and fall.
  •    Live power lines lying on the ground.
  •    Small fires that may flare up without warning.
  •    Ash pits, which are holes filled with hot ash created by burned trees.

Interior Health provides useful information for residents returning to their homes.  It deals with exposure to smoke from forest fires, food safety, water quality and septic tanks and disposal fields:

https://www.interiorhealth.ca/YourEnvironment/EmergencyPreparedness/Pages/Forest-Fires.aspx

BC Wildfire Management Branch says the fire is 260 hectares in size and 60 per cent contained. Fires contained within the fire perimeter will continue to burn and be visible for several weeks.

The Emergency Support Services reception centre at Mount Boucherie Senior Secondary School will be closed at 6 p.m., Monday, July 21. The residents remaining on Evacuation Order will be provided Emergency Support Services assistance. 


Original Story -- 9:30 a.m.

Approximately 300 people living in just over 130 homes continue to remain under an Evacuation Order in the Tallus Ridge and Smith Creek neighbourhoods. These homes are accessed via Mountains Hollow Lane, and via Dixie Road.

The Central Okanagan Emergency Operation Centre does not anticipate any further changes or adjustments in existing Evacuation Orders or Alerts before noon Monday.

Overnight, fire crews from West Kelowna and the BC Wildfire Management Branch conducted patrols for hot spots and extinguished flare ups. The fire remains active at a size of 260-hectares and is 60 per cent contained. Firefighters are reporting that more favourable weather conditions have helped in fighting the fire. 

Another 1,000 homes remain on Evacuation Alert and those residents should be prepared to leave their homes on short notice if conditions change.

For a list and a map of street names and areas under Evacuation Order and those remaining under Evacuation Alert, please go to www.cordemergency.ca

For those who remain on evacuation orders, the Emergency Support Services reception centre at Mount Boucherie Senior Secondary School will be open at 9 a.m. this morning. 



Home robbed during evacuation

As if the threat of someone’s home burning down in the Smith Creek fire wasn’t enough, now it seems at least one house was burglarized during the evacuation order.

West Kelowna RCMP received a report on Sunday about a residential break and enter at a home on the 2500 block of Cobblestone Road.

The home’s residents were forced to evacuate on Thursday, and upon returning on Sunday found that someone had been inside.

A man’s watch, valued at $350 was stolen, but it had far more sentimental value to the owner. The thief had also taken some liquor as well.

At this time, it’s the only reported residential break and enter since the Evacuation Order was partially rescinded on Sunday.

The RCMP will continue to provide policing services to the evacuated area as well as areas not affected by the fire.



Relief among returning evacuees

Three days after being forced from their homes by encroaching flames, many West Kelowna residents were relieved to begin resuming a version of their normal life again. 

About 2,000 people were allowed to return to their homes in the Smith Creek Fire area on Sunday, while still remaining on evacuation alert. And several hundred others remain on evacuation order and are required to wait for an update expected around 12 p.m. Monday, before they are allowed to return.

Helicopters flew overhead and smoke could be seen on the hilltop as neighbours greeted one another and unpacked their vehicles.

At one point, the fire was a 20-minute hike up the hill from Jen McAnulty and Nick Forrester's home. "Tending the garden and having a drink," were the first things on their to-do list. 

Bernie Bloomfield has lived in the Shannon Woods neighbourhood for more than 12 years and says it feels great to be home. 

"The fire line came down quite close, so it was a big deal. Especially Friday night, Saturday -- especially with the winds so bad," he said. "This morning we got up and the smoke had gone down considerably and so I thought 'well, time to go home'."

Doug Greggain who lives on Tallus Ridge Drive said he was happy to be home, but that there had been some reported break-ins in his neighbourhood. 

RCMP blocking Mountains Hollow Lane said only one break-in could be confirmed. No other details of the incident were immediately available.

Claudette Mazzei said she got back to her home around 12:30 p.m. She was two hours away camping when the evacuation order went out. 

"Thank God - I'm just glad nothing happened." 

Kayla Van Metre said she found out about the order when a friend from work called.

"He said, 'your hill is on fire!'" and I started packing as soon as he called."

They stayed with friends at a small cabin for a while, but ended up in Vernon for a night through emergency services. 

"I was really impressed, the volunteers there - all the effort they put in to calm everyone down, they really lightened the atmosphere," said Van Metre.

A couple of hours after being allowed back home, Hailee Carroll was already mowing her lawn. 

"I just felt like I had to do something," she said. "It feels awesome to be home." 

Carroll and her husband have only been in the neighbourhood for less than two years, and said watching the flames was nerve racking. 

"We came down a few nights and just kind of sat in our car across the street and just watched for a bit," she said. "I kind of felt like we would be okay, but you never know." 

As of 12 p.m. Sunday the wildfire was 50 per cent contained, and 260 hectares in size. The leaders of the fire fight held a press conference today in Kelowna and said they hope to increase that number by Sunday night. 



Area restriction near Smith Creek

An Area Restriction Order is in effect immediately for areas surrounding the Smith Creek fire in order to protect the safety of firefighting personnel and the public.

This Area Restriction will remain in place until July 31, 2014 or until the Order is rescinded.

A map of the affected areas is available below or online here: http://bit.ly/1jQLojx

Specifically, this Order applies to:

North Boundary: as represented on the attached map

East Boundary: Paramount Drive to Shannon Heights Place following the fire perimeter

South Boundary: Smith Creek Road, Copper Ridge Drive continuing east to the fire perimeter at Paramount Drive

West Boundary: Straight line from Smith Creek Road to the north boundary as represented on the attached map                               

This Area Restriction Order does not apply to people travelling to or from their residence or to anyone using the highway, as defined in the Highway Act.

Anyone found in contravention of the Area Restriction Order may be issued a fine of up to $5,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

For information about the Smith Creek wildfire, please visit www.bcwildfire.ca

You can also follow the latest wildfire news --

-On Twitter at http://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo

-On Facebook at http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo

 



More people head home

 

7 p.m. update:

The Central Okanagan Emergency Operation Centre does not anticipate any further changes or adjustments in existing Evacuation Orders or Alerts this evening. 

It’s expected the next scheduled update regarding the remaining Evacuation Orders will be before 12 p.m. Monday, July 21st.

We now have approximately 300 people from just over 130 homes still under an Evacuation Order in the Tallus Ridge neighbourhood that are accessed via Mountains Hollow Lane and for properties accessed via Dixie Road in the Smith Creek neighbourhood. With the lifting of Evacuation Orders today, just over 1,000 homes remain on Evacuation Alert.

5:15 p.m. update:

The Emergency Operation Centre advises that the Evacuation Order for the Smith Creek Fire has been lifted for additional streets in the Shannon Woods Neighbourhood effective 5 p.m. Sunday, July 20. However, the Evacuation Order remains in effect for those properties in the Tallus Ridge Neighbourhood that are accessed via Mountains Hollow Lane and for properties accessed via Dixie Road in the Smith Creek Neighbourhood.

The Smith Creek Fire is still active and residents returning to their homes will remain on Evacuation Alert and should be prepared to leave their homes with little or short notice. The public is requested to stay out of fire-affected areas for their own safety and to obey all warning and hazards signs. The Evacuation Order area, including parks, trails and public and private lands, remains closed to the public.

The Evacuation Order is rescinded but an Evacuation Alert remains in effect for the following areas:

The following roads in the Smith Creek Neighbourhood:
• Asquith Road
• Bridal Hill Court
• Bridal Hill Drive
• Copper Ridge Drive
• Copper Ridge Court
• Copper Ridge Place
• Copper Ridge Way
• Doucette Drive
• Harold Road
• Ironridge Place
• Ironridge Road
• Rhinestone Road
• Shetler Drive
• Sandberg Road
• Sageview Road
• Saddleridge Drive
• Sugosa Place
• Salish Road
• Smith Creek Road
• Stone Ridge Drive
• Summerview Place
• Summerview Court
• Telcor Place
• Twin Place 
• Whispering Hills Drive
• Wild Horse Drive

The following roads in the Alexandria Neighbourhood: 
• Alexandria Way
• Shannon Lake Road

The following roads/properties in the Tallus Ridge Neighbourhood: 
• Boulder Lake Boulevard
• Cobblestone Road
• Pebble Place
• Stone Grove Crescent
• Tuscany Drive
• Tallus Ridge Drive including 2390 Tallus Ridge Drive

The following roads in the Shannon Woods Neighbourhood:
• Shannon Woods Drive
• Shannon Woods Place
• Shannon Woods Way
• Shannon Woods Cres
• Shannon Hills Drive
• Shannon Hills Place
• Shannon Heights Court 
• Shannon Heights Place

The Evacuation Order is still in effect for:

The following properties/roads in the Smith Creek Neighbourhood:
• All properties accessed off Dixie Road

The following properties/roads in the Tallus Ridge Neighbourhood including the following roads:
• Big Sky Drive
• Mountains Hollow Lane
• Paramount Drive
• Ryser Place
• Tallus Heights Drive
• Tallus Green Crescent
• Tallus Green Place

The Evacuation Alert has been lifted for Bartley Road and Lenz Road.

The latest information and updated maps of the Evacuation Order and Evacuation Alert areas are available at www.cordemergency.ca.

RCMP will be in the area to ensure an orderly re-entry and to enforce road blocks in areas where Evacuation Orders are still in effect.  When returning home, be cautious in your neighborhood and watch out for:

• Charred power poles and trees that may be unstable and fall.
• Live power lines lying on the ground.
• Small fires that may flare up without warning.
• Ash pits, which are holes filled with hot ash created by burned trees.


1:47 p.m. update:

The Emergency Operation Centre advises that the Evacuation Order for the Smith Creek Fire has been partially rescinded effective 11 a.m. Sunday, July 20.  

Residents returning to their home will be on Evacuation Alert and should be prepared to leave their homes with little or short notice.

About 2,000 of the 2,500 originally evacuated can now return home. Abut 200 homes are still on the Evacuation Order.

Crews are working hard to return remaining evacuees to their homes as soon as possible. Remaining evacuation orders will be evaluated later today.

The Evacuation Order is rescinded but an Evacuation Alert remains in effect for the following areas:

The following properties in the Smith Creek Neighbourhood including the following roads:

·         Asquith Road

·         Bridal Hill Court

·         Bridal Hill Drive

·         Copper Ridge Drive

·         Copper Ridge Court

·         Copper Ridge Place

·         Copper Ridge Way

·         Doucette Drive

·         Harold Road

·         Ironridge Place

·         Ironridge Road

·         Rhinestone Road

·         Shetler Drive

·         Sandberg Road

·         Sageview Road

·         Saddleridge Drive

·         Sugosa Place

·         Salish Road

·         Smith Creek Road

·         Stone Ridge Drive

·         Summerview Place

·         Summerview Court

·         Telcor Place

·         Twin Place

·         Whispering Hills Drive

·         Wild Horse Drive

Properties in the Alexandria Neighbourhood including the following roads:

·         Alexandria Way

·         Shannon Lake Road

A portion of the Tallus Ridge Neighbourhood including the following roads:

·         Boulder Lake Boulevard

·         Cobblestone Road

·         Pebble Place

·         Stone Grove Crescent

·         Tuscany Drive

·         Tallus Ridge Drive

A portion of the Shannon Woods Neighbourhood including the following roads:

·         Shannon Woods Drive

·         Shannon Woods Place

·         Shannon Woods Way

·         Shannon Woods Cres,

The Evacuation Order is still in effect for:

Properties in the Smith Creek Neighbourhood including the following roads:

·         Dixie Road

The following properties in the Tallus Ridge Neighbourhood including the following roads:

·         Big Sky Drive

·         Mountains Hollow Lane

·         Paramount Drive

·         Ryser Place

·         Tallus Heights Drive

·         Tallus Green Cres,

·         Tallus Green Place

The following properties in the Shannon Woods Neighbourhood including the following roads:

·         Shannon Hills Drive

·         Shannon Hills Place

·         Shannon Heights Court,

·         Shannon Heights Place

The Evacuation Alerts remain in effect for the following areas:

·         Bartley Road

·         Lenz Road

For the latest information and updated maps of the evacuation order and evacuation alert visit www.cordemergency.ca.

RCMP will be in the area to ensure an orderly re-entry and to enforce road blocks in areas where Evacuation Orders are still in effect.  When returning home, be cautious in your neighbourhood and watch out for:

·         charred power poles and trees that may be unstable and fall.

·         live power lines lying on the ground.

·         small fires that may flare up without warning.

·         ash pits, which are holes filled with hot ash created by burned trees.

Dr Moshe Oz at the Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital has asked that people that want to pickup their animals come 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday or anytime on Monday. 



Wildfire - beating a beast

Gary Harland, with the BC Forest Service said his confidence is growing every day in the fight against the Smith Creek Fire. 

Emergency operations announced a portion of the evacuated residents could return home today.

"We're very happy about the announcement today. We will be working with Wayne (Schnitzler) and will reassess things at the end of the day," he said. 

The director of emergency operations Tracey Batten said people need to bear in mind that this is an active fire.

"We stress, these residents remain on evacuation alert. Those residents returning to their homes should be ready to leave their homes at a moments notice, should conditions change."

Harland said they are still ramping up response to the fire and now have 80 firefighters on the ground. They are hoping to consolidate the guards through today. 

"We're consolidating the lines, especially in the middle where it's smoking so much - there's a big green area, everyone can see it," he said. "We're comfortable given the risks with what is going on right now.

"It's difficult going and our staff are working very hard to make progress there." 

Some of the factors in deciding to allow people back home was based on how much fuel had been consumed in those areas and how effective the guards were. "There's a whole bunch of guard that needs to go in at the top of hill," he said. 

Aircraft use is status quo; they did not use scooper aircraft on the ridge this morning because they're bringing people into that area, but helicopters continue to fight the fire. 

Wayne Schnitzler with West Kelowna Fire Rescue said fire departments will still be patrolling the areas daily and in the evenings. 

Currently there are no restrictions on water use for residents returning home. However, because so many hydrants have been turned on and off in the area, residents may notice their water is a bit brown when they start to run it. They are advised to let it run for about 30 seconds and all the discolouration should flush out. 

West Kelowna mayor Doug Findlater thanked everyone involved in the effort from the RCMP to residents in the community who came forward to bring people in, to local businesses that provided accommodation, food and supplies. 

"I can't help but praise the municipal and forestry firefighters. We watched a lot of this very closely and they really do put themselves in harm's way and they risk their lives," he said. "We're obviously a very resilient community"

Below is the video of the announcement.

 



The latest on Smith Creek

8:30 a.m. update:

Unified Incident Command is currently assessing progress made in fighting the Smith Creek fire overnight and determining whether any changes should be made to the existing Evacuation Orders and Alerts, which remain in effect. 

Officials are working as quickly as possible to determine when it would be safe to allow residents to return to their homes. When it is safe, residents will be allowed to go home. Approximately 2,500 residents from 1,100 homes live within the areas under evacuation and alert.

Some evacuees may be required to check out of their hotels this morning before determinations are made on the status of the Evacuation Order. The Emergency Operations Centre requests the public’s patience while the situation is evaluated. Further information regarding the Evacuation Orders will be provided as soon as it becomes available.

Any change in evacuation status will be posted to the www.cordemergency.ca website and via local media. 

The Emergency Support Services Reception Centre at Mount Boucherie Secondary School, 2751 Cameron Road in West Kelowna will reopen at 8:30 this morning to help any evacuees.

RCMP continues to maintain security in the affected areas with roving patrols while at the same time continuing to provide policing service to areas not affected by the fire.

6:50 a.m. update July 20:

Overnight it was very quiet on the fire line in West Kelowna; despite strong winds earlier in the day there were very few hot spots reported.

At around 6 p.m. wind gusts estimated at 60km an hour fanned the flames, creating several columns of smoke and a few visible flames.

Ground crews worked hard to stop the spread of the fire, they were supported by three helicopters that were relentless in their air attack.

Before the helicopters left for the night, at around 8:30 p.m., most of the hot spots were knocked down.

All of the Evacuation Orders and Alerts remain in place. The Central Okanagan Emergency Operation Centre will be making an announcement later today about the Orders and Alerts.


8:15 p.m. Update July 19:

A Type 1 Ontario Incident Management team has now assumed command on the Smith Creek fire. This transition will bring increased support staff to help manage the wildfire which started two days ago.

The team is looking forward to continuing progress and positive efforts on the fire, which is estimated at 260 hectares and is approximately 30 per cent contained.

Collaboration with the West Kelowna, Peachland, Lake Country and Kelowna fire departments continues. Personnel from the Wildfire Management Branch will also continue to support efforts on this fire in various roles.

Increased fire activity was seen once again today as a result of unburned fuels igniting within the fire’s interior. The fire has not exceeded guards or retardant lines. Potential for downhill creep exists this evening as strong winds continue.

Breaking trees may be noticed within the vicinity of the fire as a result of these strong winds. Fire fighters may be removed from these areas of concern for safety reasons. Other methods of suppression will be tactically considered when safety concerns are present.


Fire fighters from West Kelowna will be patrolling the Smith Creek fire overnight.  They’ll be watching for and extinguishing any hot spots and flare ups.

From time to time overnight, residents may see flare ups in the fire area.  Please do not call 9-1-1 as crews are on the scene and responding as needed.     

The BC Wildfire Management Branch says despite gusty winds today, the fire has remained within its perimeter and is 30% contained having consumed 260-hectares since it was reported early Thursday afternoon.

The Central Okanagan Emergency Operation Centre advises that there will be no changes in the Evacuation Orders and Alerts regarding the Smith Creek fire this evening.   Approximately 2,500 residents from 1,100 homes live within the areas under evacuation and alert.

This decision from Unified Incident Command not to rescind any evacuation orders is based on the need to ensure public safety before residents are allowed to re-enter their neighbourhoods and safely return to their homes.

5:10 p.m. Update:

As public safety is paramount, the Regional Emergency Operations Centre unfortunately advises that no one will be allowed to return to their homes this evening.

All Evacuation Orders and Alerts remain in effect for an estimated 2,500 people living in approximately 1,100 homes. 

The Incident Commander has determined that based on an assessment of active fire behaviour and weather conditions, especially this afternoon’s gusty winds, no one will be able to go home this evening.  Public safety is the number one priority.

Any change in status will be posted to the CORDE website and here on Castanet.

The Emergency Support Services Reception Centre at Mount Boucherie Secondary School, 2751 Cameron Road in West Kelowna, will close tonight at 10:00 pm and reopen at 8:30 am tomorrow to provide assistance to those affected residents. 

Evacuated residents with animals that have any concerns may contact the Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team (CDART) at 250-470-0694.

The BC Wildfire Management Branch estimates the fire at 260-hectares in size and 30% contained.  The Branch says due to the extreme fire behaviour experienced with the Smith Creek fire, continued high temperatures, low humidity and strong winds, safety remains the top priority.

For the latest information and updated maps of the evacuation order and evacuation alert visit here.

Emergency response personnel request that the public:

  • Avoid the Smith Creek area so emergency responders can effectively perform their duties.
  • Okanagan Lake boaters stay away from the active area where helicopters and other aircraft may be filling with water.
  • Please only CALL 911 in case of emergency.
  • Public inquiries can be directed to 250-469-8490.

3:45 p.m. Update:

Evacuation orders remain in effect for Smith Creek, Tallus Ridge, Alexandria Way and Shannon Woods. Another 151 residents remain on Evacuation Alert on Lenz Road, including Pinewood Villa Mobile Home Park and from 1898 to 2515 Bartley Road.

The fire is still active and orders and alerts will be rescinded once it is safe to do so.  In total, an estimated 2,500 residents from approximately 1,100 homes are evacuated. Crews are working hard to return people to their homes as soon as possible. The BC Wildfire Management Branch reports that the Smith Creek Fire is 260 hectares and 30 percent contained.

There are currently BC Wildfire Management Branch, West Kelowna, Peachland, Lake Country and Kelowna fire personnel and three skimmers, five helicopters and several pieces of heavy equipment responding to the fire. BC Wildfire Management Branch advises that crews have established a guard along the eastern side of the fire. Sections of guard have also been completed along the south and west sides of the fire. Today’s crews are working to join and reinforce sections of the guard.

12:05 Update:

Evacuation orders remain in effect for Smith Creek, Tallus Ridge, Alexandria Way and Shannon Woods. Another 151 residents remain on Evacuation Alert on Lenz Road, including Pinewood Villa Mobile Home Park and from 1898 to 2515 Bartley Road.

The fire is still active and orders and alerts will be rescinded once it is safe to do so.  Crews are working hard to return people to their homes as soon as possible. The BC Wildfire Management Branch reports that the Smith Creek Fire is 260 hectares and 30 percent contained. In total, an estimated 2,500 residents from approximately 1,100 homes are evacuated.

At this time, fire retardant guards are in place around BC Hydro lines in the vicinity of the Smith Creek fire and crews are continuing to create fire breaks.

Boaters are reminded to stay clear of the water skimmers and helicopter buckets.

Here are some more pictures of the fire from Friday and Saturday. 

10:15 a.m. Update:

An Evacuation Order remains in effect for Smith Creek, Tallus Ridge, Alexandria Way and Shannon Woods neighbourhoods. In total, an estimated 2,500 residents from approximately 1,100 homes are evacuated.

Another 151 residents remain on Evacuation Alert on Lenz Road, including Pinewood Villa Mobile Home Park and from 1898 to 2515 Bartley Road.

No change in the status of the fire has been reported since Friday night. The BC Wildfire Management Branch is due to issue an update at 10 a.m. The branch last estimated the fire size at 250-hectares on Friday evening before night fell. At that time the branch also estimated the fire was 20% contained at that time.

At this time, the risk to hydro lines being affected by the Smith Creek fire is not as great as it was Friday.  However, residents should still be prepared to be self sufficient in the event of any power interruption should circumstances change.

In order to continue to provide adequate water supplies for the fire-fighting effort, residents living west of the W.R. Bennett Bridge are asked to continue restricting their household water use and not to water outdoors.

Citizens are encouraged to go to www.cordemergency.ca for the latest news and updated maps of the Evacuation Order and Evacuation Alert areas. Read updated posts on Facebook or follow our tweets. The public information line is 250-469-8490.

Emergency response personnel request that the public:

Avoid the Smith Creek area so emergency responders can effectively perform their duties.
Okanagan Lake boaters stay away from the active area where helicopters and other aircraft may be filling with water.

Please only CALL 911 in case of emergency. Public inquiries can be directed to 250-469-8490


8 p.m. July 18: Fire fighters from West Kelowna, Lake Country and Kelowna fire departments are on patrol through the night on the Smith Creek fire.  They’re attending and extinguishing any hot spots or area flare ups that might occur.

Residents are asked that if they see any fire activity related specifically to the Smith Creek fire, not to call 9-1-1 as crews are actively patrolling all areas of the fire.

The fire is estimated to be 250-hectares in size, having been reduced earlier this evening by the BC Wildfire Management Branch from 400-hectares that was announced this afternoon.  The branch estimates the fire is 20% contained.

Emergency Support Services has received a tremendous outpouring of offers and generosity from citizens across the Central Okanagan and from all over British Columbia and thanks people for coming forward.  There have been hundreds of offers of available accommodation for those residents that are out of their homes.  While no goods or services are currently required, people who would like to offer accommodation may contact ESS volunteers at 250-870-5160.

Evacuation Orders remain in effect for about 2,500 residents of almost 1,100 homes while those on another 151 properties remain on Evacuation Alert and must be prepared to leave their homes on short notice should conditions change. 

At this time, the risk to hydro lines being affected by the Smith Creek fire is not as great as it was earlier today.  However, residents should still be prepared to be self sufficient in the event of any power interruption should circumstances change.

In order to continue to provide adequate water supplies for the fire-fighting effort, residents living west of the W.R. Bennett Bridge are asked to continue restricting their household water use and not to water outdoors.

Citizens are encouraged to go to www.cordemergency.ca for the latest news and updated maps of the Evacuation Order and Evacuation Alert areas. Read updated posts at www.facebook.com/CORDEmergency or follow our tweets at www.twitter.com/CO_Emerg. The public information line is 250-469-8490.



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