201610
West Kelowna  

Still fighting wildfire

Alanna Kelly

UPDATE: 9:45 p.m. 

The Finlay Creek wildfire near Peachland has not seen any growth over the last few hours and remains at 1,000 hectares in size.

Seven firefighters and four pieces of heavy machinery will continue to fight the fire throughout the night. 

As of Sunday evening, over 22 residents have checked in at the ESS Reception Centre located at the Summerland Arena and Curling Club at 8820 Jubilee Rd East, Main Floor. 

The Emergency Support Services (ESS) telephone number is 250-462-0823.


UPDATE: 7:30 p.m.

Seven firefighters and four pieces of heavy machinery will continue to battle the Finlay Creek wildfire near Peachland overnight.

BC Wildfire Service said the fire is still 1,000 hectares in size.

“Fire activity continues at a rank two behaviour,” said Rachel Witt, fire information officer.

Meanwhile, the Okanagan Similkameen Regional District (RDOS) issued an evacuation alert for 97 properties.

Earlier Sunday, 55 properties were put on evacuation order (see below). Those under the order have been told to sign in at the Emergency Reception Centre located at 8820 Jubilee Road East in Summerland. The centre remains open today until 8 p.m. The ESS will reopen Monday and Tuesday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 


UPDATE: 1:45 p.m.

Fifty-five properties to the south of the Finlay Creek wildfire have been ordered to evacuate.

The evacuation order from the Okanagan Similkameen Regional District (RDOS) states the affected properties are in Electoral Area F, for Meadow Valley and Darke Creek areas west of Summerland.

First responders are currently attending properties to ensure people are aware they must evacuate immediately. BC Wildfire Service, RCMP, Penticton Search and Rescue and the Summerland Fire Service are on scene as the order straddles both the District of Summerland and RDOS borders.

The 55 properties affected by the order include:

  • 951 Meadow Valley Road in the District of Summerland
  • 476 Fish Lake Road
  • 920 Fish Lake Road
  • 879 Meadow Valley Road
  • 481 Fish Lake Road
  • 1108 Fish Lake Road
  • 920 Meadow Valley Road
  • 498 Fish Lake Road
  • 1124 Fish Lake Road
  • 931 Meadow Valley Road
  • 501 Fish Lake Road
  • 1139 Fish Lake Road
  • 951 Meadow Valley Road
  • 535 Fish Lake Road
  • 1151 Fish Lake Road
  • 955 Meadow Valley Road
  • 549 Fish Lake Road
  • 1250 Fish Lake Road
  • 24 Osborne Road
  • 552 Fish Lake Road
  • 1321 Fish Lake Road
  • 30 Osborne Road
  • 559 Fish Lake Road
  • 1344 Fish Lake Road
  • 33 Osborne Road
  • 571 Fish Lake Road
  • 1405 Fish Lake Road
  • 35 Osborne Road
  • 623 Fish Lake Road
  • 26 Marsh Lane 
  • 36 Osborne Road
  • 628 Fish Lake Road
  • 75 Marsh Lane
  • 48 Savanna Road
  • 631 Fish Lake Road
  • 100 Marsh Lane
  • 36 Osborne Road
  • 822 Fish Lake Road
  • 105 Marsh Lane
  • 12 Savanna Road
  • 833 Fish Lake Road
  • 155 Marsh Lane
  • 16 Savanna Road
  • 852 Fish Lake Road
  • 633 Meadow Valley Road
  • 22 Savanna Road
  • 855 Fish Lake Road
  • 671 Meadow Valley Road
  • 558 Relkey Road
  • 877 Fish Lake Road
  • 681 Meadow Valley Road
  • 574 Relkey Road
  • 883 Fish Lake Road
  • 810 Meadow Valley Road
  • 884 Fish Lake Road
  • 860 Meadow Valley Road

Residents are asked to leave the area immediately and register at ESS Reception Centre located at the Summerland Arena and Curling Club at 8820 Jubilee Rd East, Main Floor. The Emergency Support Services (ESS) telephone number is 250-462-0823.

Before leaving:

  • close all windows and doors
  • shut off all gas and electrical appliances, other than refrigerators and freezers
  • close gates (latch) but do not lock
  •  leave a note on the door or gate to say you have evacuated
  • gather your family: take a neighbour or someone who needs help
  •  take critical items (medicine, purse, wallet, and Keys) only if they are immediately available
  •  take pets in pet kennels or on leash
  • do not use more vehicles then you have to
  •  do not use the telephone unless you need emergency service

Those properties evacuating horses or livestock, can relocate animals to BC Livestock Yards at 5353 Hawthorne Place, Okanagan Falls. 


UPDATE: 12:45 p.m.

Fire crews are battling winds and warm temperatures at a wildfire in Peachland.

BC Wildfire Service said they are monitoring winds closely.

“The winds are coming from the north, so it is pushing the fire south,” said Rachel Witt, fire information officer. “It is something we are keeping in mind, a higher priority.”

“I haven’t heard of any specific areas, crews are trying to work where ever they can that is safe to get to."


UPDATE: 12:05 p.m.

The Central Okanagan Regional District has expanded an evacuation alert for properties near the Finlay Creek wildfire southwest of Peachland.

The fire grew to more than 1,000 hectares overnight.

As a precaution, CORD's Emergency Operation Centre said another 206 properties have been put under evacuation alert.

The new properties are within the District of Peachland and include:

6575 – 7280 Highway 97

4948 – 5079 Elliott Avenue

6421 – 6465 Mack Road

6457 – 6650 Renfrew Road

6470 – 6484 Renfrew Court

4949 – 5061 Princeton Avenue

6487 – 6568 Sherburn Road

6471 – 6485 Stuart Crescent South

6503 – 6551 Ferguson Place

6426 – 6575 Vernon Avenue

6465 – 6590 Bulyea Avenue

New properties under evacuation alert within CORD's West Electoral Area include:

Brent Road

Zipzone – upper Princteon Avenue (5875 Brenda Forest Service Road)

Zipzone remains open, said Kevin Bennett, president of the zip lining company.

"The fire is south of us, in the other valley and heading away from our site," Bennett said. "There is little smoke affecting us, as we are higher up and the wind is blowing towards the south.

"In the unlikely event that we are ordered to evacuate, our evacuation procedures allow us to completely vacate the park in under 15 minutes."

Residents in the evacuation alert affected should be prepared to leave their homes on short notice should fire conditions change.

A detailed map is available showing the affected properties is available online.

Last night, residents from approximately 100 properties were put on evacuation alert.


UPDATE: 11:25 a.m.

A wildfire burning southwest of Peachland grew substantially overnight and is now estimated at 1,000 hectares in size, according to the BC Wildfire Service.

"The rate of spread in this wildfire is due to the fact there has been no precipitation in that area since June," said Rachel Witt, fire information officer. "The fuel is incredibly dry, as dry as it can get."

Air tankers have joined helicopters already battling the Finlay Creek blaze Sunday morning to drop water and retardant on the lines. Additional firefighters have been sent to the scene and four pieces of heavy equipment are in use.

"It is still a very active fire," Witt said. 


ORIGINAL STORY: 9:53 a.m.

Helicopters were back and bucketing water onto the Finlay Creek wildfire southwest of Peachland Sunday morning.

"We have 22 firefighters, three helicopters and one piece of heavy machinery fighting the fire," said Rachel Witt of the BC Wildfire Service.

A bird dog aircraft was in the sky over the fire as well to assess what type of fixed wing aircraft was needed to fight the blaze and whether retardant or water should be dropped, she said.

Witt could not estimate the size of the fire. She said accurate mapping was underway.

Meanwhile, residents on evacuation alert in the Peachland area are on edge after watching the wildfire grow overnight.

Rod Graham, who lives on Maranatha Drive, said he was out walking his dog late last night when he heard a large explosion in the direction of the Finlay Creek wildfire.

"All of a sudden the sky just lit up," Graham said. 

Aaron Preston of Peachland said: "I was in my house on Beach Avenue and felt a large shock wave from an explosion, it was from the direction of the fire."

During darkness flareups were spotted in the forested area.

Graham and others in the areas have reported that the fire crested a hill overnight.

A spokesperson for the Central Okanagan Emergency Operations said an evacuation alert for the area could be expanded Sunday.

So far an alert has been issued for more than 100 properties.

"I've got my trailer ready to pull out," said Graham, who added that he and his wife got ready to go about three weeks ago during the McDougald Road wildfire.



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