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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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