Fires continue to grow

Alanna Kelly

UPDATE: 11:25 a.m.

The BC Wildfire Service now estimate the Good Creek Wildfire, burning within Okanagan Mountain Park, has grown to an estimated 340 hectares.

The fire, which sparked from a lightning strike Tuesday evening, was considered just a spot fire until strong winds fanned the flames around midday Wednesday.

It quickly grew to 200 hectares later in the day.

The BCWS says helicopters and ground crews will be working that fire throughout the day.

UPDATE: 9:10 a.m.

The BC Wildfire Service now says the Mt. Eneas wildfire just south of Peachland has grown to 500 hectares in size. The fire, which sparked Tuesday night, grew from a small spot fire Wednesday morning to a 200 hectare blaze in the evening.

Airtankers, 22 personnel and helicopters will be on site this morning.

Additional resources are expected to be onsite later today. They will focus their suppression efforts on increasing containment on the southern end of the fire, near Garnet Valley.

The Good Creek fire in Okanagan Mountain Park remains mapped at 200 hectares, however BCWS says the fire has grown since that estimate.

Helicopters are bucketing the fire with more resources expected later in the day.

All evacuation orders and alerts pertaining to the two fires remain in effect.

Highway 97 at the Mt. Eneas fire remains open to single-lane alternating traffic. Motorists can expect delays of one to two hours.

UPDATE: 9 a.m.

Suppression efforts continue to two wildfires which burned out of control Wednesday afternoon.

Both the Mt. Eneas fire south of Peachland and the Good Creek fire within Okanagan Mountain Park, remain mapped at 200 hectares in size.

Both ground and air crews will be attacking those.

The size, and number of personnel involved will be updated later this morning.

All current evacuation orders and alerts issued Wednesday night remain in effect.

An Emergency Support Services (ESS) reception centre for evacuated residents is located at the Lakeview Heights Baptist Church, 2630 Alhambra Drive in West Kelowna.

ESS volunteers will be available starting at 8:30 a.m. this morning to help affected Central Okanagan residents. Residents that are evacuated from their homes must report to the reception centre to receive any assistance and lodging.

Both fires started as a result of lightning strikes Tuesday night.

UPDATE 6:56 a.m.

11 wildfires of note are now burning in the province of B.C. Two separate fires in the Okanagan, both roughly 200 hectares in size, are burning outside Peachland. DriveBC is reporting one to two hour delays on Highway 97 between Penticton and Kelowna.

We have reached out to BC Wildfire Service for an update and will provide that information as soon as it becomes available.

ORIGINAL 5:00 a.m.

Intense heat and windy conditions rapidly pushed two wildfires over 200 hectares in size on Wednesday.

Over 400 lightning strikes lit up the Okanagan Valley on Tuesday and caused plumes of smoke to blanket numerous properties.

Many residents were forced into action to prepare for evacuations including the BC Wildfire Service as they frantically tried to get a handle on the situation.

At 10 p.m., over 170 properties were told they needed to leave home after a wildfire called Mount Eneas in Peachland started getting closer to homes.

Residents living at 7100 to 7210 Brent Roads and a 7212 to 7280 Highway 97 South were evacuated. All campground sites at Okanagan Lake Provincial Park have also been emptied. 

At 8:30 p.m., The BC Wildfire Service said the Good Creek wildfire on Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park the Good Creek wildfire had grown to 200 hectares and placed residents living on Lakeshore Road on evacuation alert.

Both fires lit up the valley and many residents sent spectacular images of both fires to Castanet News.

Heavy smoke and spreading fire closed a section of Highway 97 on Thursday night between Summerland and Peachland forcing some drivers to sit in traffic for hours. 

DriveBC said the next update would be early Thursday morning.

The BC Wildfire Service says they are keeping a very close eye on both of wildfires at this time. 

Castanet News will continue to bring you breaking information and you can send your photographs or videos to [email protected]

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