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Hwy 97C wildfire at 30ha

 

UPDATE 8:15 P.M.

BC wildfire management will monitor the 30 hectare Drought Hill forest fire overnight.

Emergency personnel will meet early in the morning on August 8 and an update on the fire and the emergency response is expected to be distributed at 7 a.m. 

One home on the 4700 block of MacKinnon Road in West Kelowna remains in place. 

Lane closures on Highway 97C are still in effect and motorists should watch for any further traffic restrictions. 

Flare ups may be visible overnight. The public is asked not to call 9-1-1 as emergency crews are on the scene and responding as needed. 

Emergency response personnel request that the public: 

• Slow down on Highway 97C and stay away from emergency vehicles. Watch for lane closures and traffic personnel. 
• Monitor www.cordemergency.ca, www.facebook.com/CORDEmergency or www.twitter.com/CO_Emerg for confirmed information about the situation 
• Please only CALL 911 in case of emergency. 

UPDATE 6:30 P.M.

A Local State of Emergency has been declared to facilitate the evacuation of one home on the 4700 block of MacKinnon Road in West Kelowna due to the Drought Hill forest fire.

The fire is burning near Highway 97C and is now estimated at 13 hectares in size. Highway 97C is now reduced to one lane in both directions to ensure the safety of emergency personnel through the fire zone.

The wildfire burning along Highway 97C near Trepanier Road has now grown to 25 hectares in size.

Despite the growth, Fire Information Officer, Kelsey Winter, says the fire continues to burn away from the highway and away from any structures.

Winter says warm temperatures and dry fuels combined with uphill movement have continued to fan the growth of the fire.

Crews still have retardant around 75 per cent of the blaze.

West Kelowna and Peachland firefighters are being assisted by 27 ground crew from the Wildfire Management Branch.

Three helicopters, two tankers and four skimmers continue to action the fire from the air.

The blaze was spotted about 2:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon.


UPDATE 4:25 P.M.

The Wildfire Management Branch now say a wildfire burning near Highway 97C and Trepanier Road has grown to 13 hectares in size.

According to Fire Information Officer, Kelsey Winter, 75 per cent of the fire has been actioned with retardant.

Winter says a second helicopter is also being brought in as is the four plane skimmer group.

She adds the fire is burning uphill and away from the highway and away from homes.

Winds are calm in the area which is also aiding fire crews.

Members of the West Kelowna and Peachland Fire Departments are also on scene fighting the blaze on the ground.

Castanet reporter Carmen Weld, on the scene, says trees visible from the highway have been candling.

She says only helicopters have been working the fire for the past several minutes.

Several hundred people have been gathering at the Tourist Information Centre to get a view of the fire.

Emergency responders are asking people to stay away from the edge of the highway for fear someone may get hurt.


UPDATE 4 P.M.

A wildfire estimated at 4.5-hectares is currently burning near the Okanagan Connector, Highway 97C near the MacKinnon Road area.

West Kelowna and Peachland structural fire crews and BC Wildfire Management have responded and are on the scene.

The Emergency Operation Centre has been mobilized at a Level One and will support field crews responding.

Residents are asked not to call 9-1-1 about this fire as emergency responders are aware of it.

New information will be released to the public through the media and cordemergency.ca as soon as it becomes available.

Emergency response personnel request that the public:

  • Avoid the Trepanier and Highway 97C areas so emergency responders can effectively perform their duties.
  • Motorists heading along Highway 97C are asked to slow down and stay away from emergency vehicles and watch for any lane closures and traffic personnel.  

Fire crews from West Kelowna are on the scene of a wildfire burning alongside Highway 97C.

The fire was called in about 2:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

The blaze is burning across the highway from the Tourist Information Centre where the highway intersects with Trepanier Road.

According to Fire Information Officer, Kelsey Winter, the fire is still within spot fire size.

The Wildfire Management Branch has an air tanker on scene. A helicopter is also enroute.

Three ground personnel and also heading to the scene along with three personnel coming by air.

Glen Gregory is a witness at the scene, and a member of the Lake Country Fire Department, he says trees are candling and estimates the fire's size at around two hectares.

Although the wildfire is burning close to the highway, traffic is not affected at this time.

Castanet has a reporter heading to the scene.

More details to come.

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