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Kelowna  

More crew for fight

Madison Erhardt

UPDATE: 8:05 p.m.

More firefighters are expected to arrive over the next few days to battle the Finlay Creek wildfire, between Peachland and Summerland.

"We expect more resources coming our way," confirmed Heather Rice of the BC Wildfire Centre. "We will be setting up a fire camp in Summerland."

Rice said a camp allows the wildfire service to use trailers and tents rather than put crew members into hotels.

Despite windy conditions on Monday, Rice said the fire had not grown much from this morning.

"It was quite active given the winds that we saw but the perimeter is still around 1,500 hectares."

She said seven crew with 12 pieces of equipment would be on the wildfire overnight.


UPDATE: 6:45 p.m.

The District of Summerland has issued an evacuation alert for all properties along Garnet Valley Road north of Wildhorse Road. Properties on Wildhorse Road are also included, according to a notification on the district's Facebook page.

RCMP are going door to door to ensure residents know they are on alert and must be ready to leave at a moment's notice.

The district said the alert is being taken as a precautionary measure so residents take appropriate measures in case fire activity escalates and an evacuation order is necessary.

Residents on alert are not required to register at the Emergency Operations Centre but, if they have questions, can call 250 486 3765. 

The post reads: "Fire activity on the northeast end of Garnet Lake has stabilized and dozed lines are in place. BC Wildfire Service is continuing to fortify this area. However, conditions can change rapidly and residents should be taking appropriate measures in the case it escalates." 

Yesterday, the Okanagan Similkameen Regional District put 55 properties and Darke Lake Provincial Park on mandatory evacuation order. A further 97 properties in the Faulder area, west of Summerland, were put on advisory evacuation alert. 

A total of 98 evacuees have registered at the Emergency Reception Centre in Summerland.


UPDATE 2:45 P.M.

The Finlay Creek fire remains at 1,500 hectares in size but wind and dry fuel in the area are causes for concern, according to the BC Wildfire Service.

"Due to the increase in winds this afternoon we are seeing a little bit more increased activity on the fire, however we do have crews on the fire as well as air tankers and helicopters actioning it," said Heather Rice, Fire Information Officer. 

Rice added that it will be hard to predict what will happen over the next 24 hours. 

"It all depends on the wind with these types of fires. We are in a very dry area with challenging terrain. As we see these winds increasing we will also see an increase in fire activity and perhaps fire growth," she added.

Meanwhile the Okanagan Similkameen Regional District has issued a release reminding residents who have or may have to evacuate due to the wildfire and have pets, horses or livestock that they can get some help from the Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team (CDART). The team assists with the rescue and shelter of animals.

Affected homeowners and ranchers can contact CDART locally at 250-215-3259 for assistance with their animals.

Residents with pets will be directed to where they can take pets for safekeeping. If pets have been left at an evacuated home, CDART can assist in safe retrieval.

Horses and livestock can be taken to the BC Livestock Producers Co-op Stockyard, 5353 Hawthorne Place in Okanagan Falls.


ORIGINAL: 9:40 P.M.

The Finlay Creek wildfire near Peachland is estimated to have grown to 1,500 hectares in size.

"There has been no substantial growth of the fire. Overnight we had crews battling the blaze," said Heather Rice of the BC Wildfire Service. "The night crew built some guards south of Garnet, towards Fish Lake Road."

Additional resources are on the way. 

"There will be helicopters and skimmers assisting in the efforts today. The smoke has made it quite difficult for crews to get to an exact estimate of the fire size. The biggest increase to the fire was on Saturday night."

A total of 55 properties south of the Finlay Creek fire remain on evacuation order. For information about all properties affected south of Peachland, visit the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen website .

A detailed map is available showing affected properties in the Central Okanagan at www.cordemergency.ca.

The next update from the Central Okanagan Emergency Operation Centre is expected tomorrow, unless the situation changes.



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