West Kelowna  

Alarmed & using up water

Residents under an evacuation alert due to the Finlay Creek wildfire turned sprinklers on Sunday to save their  properties, leading to a crisis with the local water system.

The Okanagan Similkameen Regional District issued a statement asking residents in the Faulder area to conserve water. That area is just to the south of the wildfire and west of Summerland.

"The reservoir for the local water system was nearly emptied last night from residents over watering their properties," said the statement on the RDOS website. 

Things were so bad, regional district staff went door to door to stop residents from potentially crippling the water system.

Residents were advised they were under an alert only and did not need to evacuate.

"We had one property with five hoses going all at once," said Cameron Baughen of the RDOS emergency operations centre. "We explained that it would not immediately help their property and could damage the water system."

Baughen said residents were understanding and significantly reduced their water intake overnight. 

"We explained that (sprinkling) would not immediately help their property and, if the reservoir was emptied then we couldn't use it to fight to protect homes."

The lower part of Fish Lake Road in that area is under an evacuation alert.

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