Good Creek fire grows

Alanna Kelly

UPDATE: 9:25 p.m.

A resident in the Kettle Valley area says the wind appears to be blowing south, pushing smoke from the Good Creek Wildfire away from Kelowna.

This will come as some good news for those under an evacuation alert on the south end of Lakeshore Road, where wind had been pushing the 400-hectare wildfire northwards through much of Thursday. 

Regardless of the direction though, the strong winds do not bode well for fire fighting efforts across the Valley. 

UPDATE: 6:45 p.m.

BC Wildfire Service says the Good Creek wildfire burning in Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park has increased to an estimated 400 hectares in size.

UPDATE: 6 p.m.

BC WildFire Service fire information officer Noelle Kekula said air crews are doing their best to see through smoke and get an estimate size of the Good Creek wildfire.

Fourteen helicopters have been assigned to the entire area around the Good Creek and Mt. Eneas wildfires.

The Good Creek, in Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park is still estimated at 340 hectares in size and is being solely tackled by air.

“We’ve been using helicopters all day to action the fire,” said Noelle “We haven’t seen very aggressive fire behaviour on it today.”

Kekula said the fire might have grown, but they won’t know until their air crews update them.

“We have people out there flying today getting an accurate perimeter of the fire, it is the best we can with the smoke,” she said. “It is a bit tricky.”

She added they are still flying and once they are back they will update with more accurate information.

UPDATE: 5:30 p.m.

Gusty wind is starting to pick up near Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park pushing the Good Creek wildfire.

BC Wildfire Service has mapped the area that is currently burning.

UPDATE: 4:30 p.m.

Residents living on Lakeshore Road watched helicopters bucket a growing wildfire on Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park that's knocking on their doorstep Thursday.

The Good Creek Wildfire has grown to 340 hectares since it was sparked by lightning on Tuesday night.

Those who lived through the infamous 2003 Okanagan Mountain Park Wildfire in the same area say it’s all happening again.

Resident Lorraine Walton said it's time for her to pack up, just like in 2003.

“Been there done this," she said. "I’ve spent six weeks with a garbage bag. I know how much fun that is. I spent 10 years replanting and rebuilding the five acres, I am not doing it again.”

That regrowth catching fire is a big concern now for Walton, who thinks wind could push embers to her area and spark more flames.

“I’ve lived here since 2003 and always the wind comes up at night,” she said “The wind is going to come up tonight.”

Walton said wildfire crews needed to get on this fire immediately, but didn't, much like in 2003.

“They are not getting on it, just like last time and now it is a big problem,” she said.

Resident Dave Rolleston’s home was destroyed in 2003 and he said this is becoming all too familiar.

“There was a lot of fuel burned in 2003, so we are getting a little bit used to this,” he said.

Rolleston said he went out on the lake on his Sea-Doo, and believes the fire is about two kilometres away from his home.

“We are supposed to get wind later on,” he said. “I think they are doing a great job pushing it back as far as they can.”

The BC Wildfire Service last said the fire was at 340 hectares early Thursday morning. They've not been able to provide any updates since then.

The fire is now listed as an “interface fire.”

Alanna Kelly

ORIGINAL: 11:15 a.m.

Residents on a section of Lakeshore Road have been placed on alert as a wildfire continues to creep closer to their homes.

Lightning ignited the Good Creek wildfire on Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park Tuesday night and it turned into an inferno overnight growing to over 200 hectares.

Properties on 6006 to 8888 Lakeshore Road have been placed on evacuation alert and should be prepared to leave on short notice.

Central Okanagan Emergency Operations say 15 properties are on the alert as of Wednesday night.

“Residents in the affected area should be prepared to be away from their homes for an extended period of time, make arrangements for pets and pack essential items such as medicines and important documents,” said Central Okanagan Emergency Operations.

Castanet News reporter Alanna Kelly is heading to the scene to speak with residents and get an update on the status of the Good Creek wildfire.

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