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Westside Road reopens to single-lane alternating traffic as wildfire now 'held'

Single lane open after fire

UPDATE: 8:27 p.m.

Westside Road has been reopened to single-lane alternating traffic after a 24-hour closure due to the Bald Range Creek wildfire.

DriveBC issued the update just after 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

The road had been closed between Main Street and Shelter Cove due to the fire, which was sparked on Monday evening after strong winds caused a tree to fall on power lines.

The four-hectare wildfire is classified as being held, meaning it's unlikely it will spread beyond predetermined boundaries under the current conditions.

UPDATE 2:30 p.m.

The Bald Range Creek wildfire above Westside Road is now listed as "being held" by the BC Wildfire Service.

BCWS information officer Taylor Wallace tells Castanet the fire is "not expected to have any further growth under the current conditions."

Wildfire crews have been focusing their efforts on the southern flank of the fire today, "obviously good progress has been made and (it's) not expected to grow," says Wallace.

There are 10 wildfire ground crew members on the fire and they will remain on the job until the fire is listed as under control.

The Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Centre has now rescinded the evacuation alerts for 18 properties located between 3985 and 4069 Westside Road.

Westside Road remains closed according to DriveBC and the next update isn't expected until 4 p.m.

UPDATE 11:48 a.m.

The BC Wildfire Service continues to battle the Bald Range Creek wildfire but says the fire activity is down significantly.

A BC Hydro spokesperson has confirmed that Monday's strong wind caused a tree to come down on its power lines along Westside Road.

"When the line came down, it also sparked a fire, which has now been contained," said BC Hydro spokesperson Dave Cooper.

The BC Wildfire Service would not described the wildfire as contained and says it is still classified as out of control, although crews have made major progress.

Cooper said about 1,400 customers were impacted by the power outage.

"Our crews were able to conduct some switching as part of the initial phase of restoration late last night, which brought the number of customers out down to 68. At this time, our crews continue to work with BC Wildfire Services Incident Command Center while we await complete access to the site."

BC Hydro is currently conducting a danger tree assessment which will be followed by vegetation crews removing the danger trees. "Once that’s complete, we can do our damage assessment and continue restoring power once it’s safe to do so," Cooper says.

The fire is still listed at 4.08 hectares. The evacuation alerts are still in effect and Westside Road remains closed in both directions.

UPDATE 8:59 a.m.

The Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Centre tells Castanet that Westside Road remains closed Tuesday morning as the BC Wildfire Service continues to battle the Bald Range Creek wildfire.

BCWS information officer Taylor Wallace says the fire remains listed as out of control but it did not grow overnight and remains at 4.08 hectares in size.

"We have 10 personnel on site today and we had one initial attack crew stay on site and work the fire overnight and we do have various resources available to help respond today as required."

All evacuation alerts remain in effect Tuesday morning, according to Emergency Operations Centre information officer Kari O'Rourke.

"We will probably have a better idea around 11 o'clock," says O'Rourke.

Calmer winds and cooler overnight temperatures helped firefighters contain the blaze and prevent it from spreading any closer to homes.

Strong winds helped spread the fire quickly Monday evening and sparked an evacuation alert for 18 properties near the Bald Range Creek wildfire.

Central Okanagan Emergency Operations issued the alert for 3985 to 4069 Westside Road out of an abundance of caution Monday night. Residents in the affected area have been advised to be ready to leave their homes at a moment’s notice.

Firefighters from Wilson’s Landing and North Westside Fire Department's have been assisting overnight.

The BCWS will provide an update later Tuesday morning.

ORIGINAL 7:50 a.m.

The Bald Range Creek wildfire off Westside Road continues to be classified as out of control, but smoke and flame from the fire appeared to be much reduced Monday night, according to viewers from across Okanagan Lake.

The blaze sparked Monday evening along Westside Road, north of Lake Okanagan Resort and grew under windy conditions to just over four hectares in size.

BC Wildfire crews monitored the fire overnight, and Westside Road remains closed.

An evacuation alert was issued for homes in the area and remains in effect.

Emergency Support Services mobilized at Okanagan Lake Resort Monday night.

Air tankers hit the fire hard, supporting wildfire service ground crews and the North Westside Volunteer Fire Department.

The fire is believed to have been caused by a tree falling onto power lines.

We'll have more updates as the day progresses.

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