UPDATE 4:35 p.m.
There remains just 77 properties under evacuation order due to the McDougall Creek wildfire, after more orders were rescinded Friday afternoon.
Central Okanagan Emergency Operations downgraded evacuation orders to alerts for seven more properties near Raymer Bay.
According to the EOC, these include properties that are "directly adjacent to the west and northwest of Westside Road from 605 Westside Road to 531 Westside Road," including:
- 539 Westside Road S
- 550 Westside Road S
- 575 Westside Road S
- 605 Westside Road S
But the property immediately surrounding 550 Westside Road remains under an evacuation order.
A full map of current orders and alerts can be found here.
The EOC says they don't expect to rescind any additional evacuation orders through the weekend.
UPDATE 1:25 p.m.
The BC Wildfire Service has published a new area restriction around the McDougall Creek fire.
The restricted area is significantly smaller than the previous order.
The area restriction is in place to protect public and BC Wildfire Service personnel safety in areas where fire suppression activities are taking place. It will stay in place until Oct. 3.
People may not enter the restricted area unless traveling as an official, supporting firefighting activities, going to or from your home not under an evacuation order or engaging in livestock management.
A map of the restriction can be found here.
ORIGINAL 11:30 a.m.
The BC Wildfire Service is urging the public to stay out of the McDougall Creek fire zone.
Fire officials say the fire remains out of control and crews are dealing with members of the public entering the area. Heavy equipment, ash pits and danger trees pose risks to looky loos.
An area restriction around the fire is being amended and will go into force at noon and remain in place until Oct. 3. BCWS says the new area restriction map will be published Friday afternoon.
“Enforcement of the area restriction remains a challenge as members of the public are still being reported in the area,” said BCWS.
“Conservation officer staff will remain in place for the foreseeable future to continue to enforce the area restriction order.”
While Bear Creek Provincial Park is not within the order zone, it is off limits to the public as it is being used as an operational base.
“We ask that members of the public avoid entering Bear Creek Provincial Park from both the main entrance on Westside Rd. as well as from the waterfront onto the beach,” BCWS said.
Motorists are also asked to be cautious when using recently-reopened roadways near the fire, which may still be used by firefighters and heavy equipment. BCWS issued a reminder Friday that the use of drones is banned in the area, under the penalty of heavy fines.
On Friday crews will continue to work on mop up objectives, patrols, extinguishing of hotspots and demobilization of non-essential equipment.
A planned aerial ignition crews have been talking about all week may now take place next week in the Hidden Creek area.
“Updates as to when this ignition will occur will be provided once the decision has been made to go ahead with the operation,” BCWS said, noting the ignition will be less than ten hectares in size.
The Incident Management Team on the McDougall Creek wildfire (K52767) near #WestKelowna would like to remind the public that operating any aircraft not associated with fire suppression activities within this area, including unmanned aerial vehicles (or drones), is illegal.— BC Wildfire Service (@BCGovFireInfo) September 15, 2023