An evacuation order is in place for approximately 70 homes along Westside Road in Kelowna as a result of a flare up in the Shelter Cove wildfire burning near two resorts.
Bruce Smith with Kelowna’s Emergency Operations Centre says the fire was first reported on Sunday, but windy conditions yesterday evening kickstarted the blaze from a mere four to five hectares to thirty.
“The fire was initially reported after a lightning strike and there was some action by BC Wildfire Service to snuff out that fire. We had extremely gusty winds in the Okanagan. Those gusty winds are believed to have caused a flare up on this fire.”
Smith says this brutal fire season is a reminder for residents in the Okanagan to be ready for anything.
“We in the Central Okanagan have had many of these fires over the last ten or fifteen years and our message to people is that no matter where they are, they should always be prepared in case an evacuation knock at the door comes and they’re told they have to leave.”
Danielle Erickson lives on the other side of the lake and is safe, but could see the blaze spreading from her home.
“I can’t even explain to you how fast it’s spread. It’s incredible. It’s alarming. The smoke is blowing over here. I feel bad for the people on the other side of the lake.”
In just the span of mere hours, the fire had spread from a four to five hectare blaze to a 30-hectare wildfire, which was helped by gusting winds.
BC Wildfire Service and Wilson’s Landing Fire Department crews are on the scene.
Currently, neither La Casa Resort or Lake Okanagan Resort are affected or under an evacuation order or alert, however staff have informed patrons about the escalating situation.
The blaze is burning north of the Lake Okanagan Resort and south of the La Casa Resort.
Residents from the following addresses in the Shelter Cove subdivision are currently being evacuated by the RCMP: 4401 to 4163 Westside Road.
These residents are asked to report to the Emergency Support Services reception centre at the Westbank Lions Community Hall, 2466 Main Street in West Kelowna. Volunteers will be on hand after 11:30 pm to assist evacuees with food, lodging and clothing needs.
— Houston White (@houstonw) July 21, 2015
— Danielle Erickson (@waxyredcrayon) July 21, 2015