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Kelowna  

Evacuees to meet tonight

Okanagan Centre residents impacted by last weekend's wildfire are invited to a meeting tonight at Winfield Memorial Hall.

The meeting concerns the impact of fire retardant on properties and how to remove it.

Representatives from the BC Wildfire Management Branch and a company that supplies fire retardant will be on hand to provide information and answer questions regarding cleanup and recovery.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.



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Bear pays brief visit

A black bear walked right through a townhouse complex in Kelowna, Thursday.

The bear trundled through the Glen Valley development near Boynton Place just off Clifton Road.

It only hung around for a few moments, about 10 a.m.

“It was close to me, I was in my car driving on my way to work," said resident Whitney Oakes. "He was on there a few moments before sauntering up the back of Knox Mountain."

She added that the bear looked to be a cub.



Lightning sparks small fires

A brief storm rolled through portions of the Southern Interior Wednesday evening, sparking some small fires within the Kamloops Fire Centre.

Fire information officer Justine Hunse says 72 lightning strikes were recorded in the last 24 hours. Three of those resulted in small spot fires, all less than a hectare in size.

One is northeast of Canoe, another in the Falkland area and a third near Doug Main on the west side of Okanagan Lake.

Fire crews have responded to all three.

A larger storm is expected to hit the Interior sometime today, bringing with it rain and a risk of more thunderstorms.

Hunse says the Kamloops Fire Centre is on full alert, and ready for anything Mother Nature throws at the region.



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Returning home after fire

Madison Erhardt

Residents along Nighthawk Road in Okanagan Centre returned to what remained of their homes, Wednesday.

"Most of the residents went back to their homes today and are down there right now looking at their circumstances," said Lake Country Fire Chief Steve Windsor. 

For many on Nighthawk, there was just rubble to go back to, but one couple's home was mostly unscathed, despite some exterior damage. 

"It's not as bad as the next door neighbour, but we aren't going to be in it for probably months. We have three sides of the house that are going to have to be recovered, plus a lot of smoke damage inside the house, said Blair Croom. 

Croom and his wife, Joanne, said the last few days have been a roller coaster. 

"Its been up and down. You don't know what to think or what to do or what to say. When you see somebody that you know that has lost their home, what do you say to them when your home is standing and they have nothing?" Joanne said. 

"We tried to prepare ourselves for the worst, but we didn't," she added. 



Spot fire on Nighthawk

Firefighters extinguished a spot fire near Nighthawk Road in Okanagan Centre Wednesday night.

Winds were gusting up to the area that was previously torched by a wildfire, and a couple of hot spots flared up from the heat of the day.

“We’ve been through the whole area several times, and we will get several of these calls,” said Deputy Fire Chief Brent Penner. “We have given the homeowners some instructions and some numbers to phone when this happens.”

Lake Country Fire Department, along with BC Forestry Service, checked all areas around the homes and control lines  to make sure everything was out.

“In the black (area) is where the majority of the fire is, but it is also like a major fire guard,” said Penner. “We work our way through the black, trying to get rid of any kind of hot spots.”

He added that this one was right in the burned-out black area, and that spot fires are only a real concern when on a control line.

Any homeowner who witnesses a spot fire should contact the fire department immediately.



Miss Kelowna crowned

The winner of Miss Kelowna Lady of the Lake and Kelowna’s Princess has been crowned.

Alexa Rood is Miss Kelowna and Bethany Kover has been named Kelowna’s Princess.

The two will be traveling around the province representing Kelowna and also attending numerous local and charitable events.



Iced tea for wildfires

Three Kelowna kids wanted to do their part to help communities affected by wildfires.

Jordan, Layla and Jayda made an iced tea and Freezee stand, and were able to raise $88.50.

The kids simply said that you don’t need much to do great things, just be a caring and selfless person.

They hope to raise even more money and are asking the people of B.C. to match their money raised.



Downtown ready to party

Downtown Kelowna is getting ready for its biggest party of the year.

The Downtown Kelowna Association's 28th annual Block Party is set for Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Activities and entertainment for people of all ages will fill up Bernard Avenue from Richter Street to The Sails, as well as in Kerry Park.

The free block party will include family friendly events up and down Bernard Avenue, including a kids' zone, three entertainment stages, a three-on-three basketball tournament and the downtown Farmers' and Crafters' Market. The market will be set up on Pandosy from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.

The kids' zone will be set up between Richter and Ellis. It includes an inflatable park, United Way dunk tank, Little Travelers Safety Village and an entertainment stage, featuring six acts during the day.

The main stage will be set up at Kerry Park, featuring different acts and different genres of music throughout the day.

The Block Party will kick off in Kerry Park with a demonstration by the Central Okanagan Dog Agility Club.

"This is my first one, and I'm excited," says new DKA executive director Ninette Ollgaard.

"As a true newcomer, it is absolutely amazing to be part of this vibrant, downtown community event."

Between 17,000 and 20,000 people took in the block party last year.

Click here for a complete list of events.



Evening Update July 19

Castanet's Evening Update for Wednesday, July 19, with reporter Wayne Moore.



Body recovered from lake

The body of a 23-year-old man who went into Okanagan Lake and wasn't seen again has been recovered.

West Kelowna RCMP confirmed the body was located at 7 a.m. Wednesday. 

A boater spotted the body in a shallow area just 400 metres off Maude Roxby Wetland.

The man’s next of kin has been notified, and the B.C. Coroners Service is investigating the death.

Police scoured Okanagan Lake on July 15 after friends said the man jumped in the water and the boaters moved on not realizing he was no longer on board.

Eight people were on the boat when they stopped between Gyro Park and Kinsmen Park about 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. It wasn’t until the boat went towards the Bennett bridge that they noticed the passenger was gone.

A woman on the boat contacted Castanet to say the group was not drinking excessively.



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