The Okanagan Mountain Park wildfire is burning in the hills south of Kelowna. Image: Instagram/c_kirzinger

Evacuation numbers remain at nearly 1,000 as B.C. wildfires rage on

200 firefighters and 18 helicopters were working to increase the containment of the fires

Officials in British Columbia’s Okanagan region were hopeful that fire crews could aggressively tackle the flames on Saturday, as the weather forecast called for more cloud cover and less wind than in recent days.

Spokeswoman Noelle Kekula with the region’s complex incident team said that while some wildfires in the Okanagan stayed the same size overnight, others grew slightly.

“Over the last day we have seen that the (fires) have stayed within our containment lines,” Kekula said. “So they’re just growing a bit, but staying within our containment lines.”

The number of properties under evacuation order or alert remains at nearly 1,000 as the fires continue to burn in the popular tourist area of the province’s southern Interior.

Kekula said that about 200 firefighters and 18 helicopters were working to increase the containment of the fires and get water on the perimeter.

“In the Okanagan complex, our priorities are life, property and infrastructure, and with any of those three, that’s where we’re focusing our attention on,” she said.

Earlier this week a lightning storm hit the region, which spans from Salmon Arm in the north to Osoyoos in the south.

Cameron Baughen, spokesman for the emergency operation centre in the southern part of the Okanagan region, said on Saturday evening that there were 30 properties under evacuation order.

He also said about 200 properties were under an evacuation alert, which means that residents can go back to their homes, but they must leave immediately if told that the fire has gotten worse.

In the central part of the region, 766 properties were on alert, but none were on evacuation order.

Okanagan is the province’s main wine-making region and is a popular tourist area for travellers from B.C., Alberta and the U.S.

Kekula said one fire that is taking up significant amount of resources to contain is called the Mount Eneas fire, which spans about 13.7 square kilometres.

— By Alanna Rizza in Toronto

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Giants head into holidays with a win at home in Langley

G-Men don’t play next until Dec. 28, after 2-1 victory over Prince George Sunday.

VIDEO: Giants fall to Royals 4-2 in Victoria Saturday night

Second loss in as many days for G-Men, who are back home in Langley today to take on the Cougars.

Langley Gators take Tsumura provincial basketball championships

Walnut Grove outscored their foes by 30 points per game

Spreading Christmas cheer around Aldergrove

Easing the pains and difficulties of hard times is ‘reason for the season’

VIDEO: why the founder of Kimz Angels feels it’s “sad” the charitable group has grown

Will be accepting donations all day Sunday at the IGA in Murrayville

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Canucks score 3 power-play goals in 4-2 win over Oilers

Vancouver sniper Boeser has 6 goals in last 5 games

Microscopic parasite found in Prince Rupert water affecting thousands

More than 12,000 residents affected by the boil water advisory issued Dec. 14

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

B.C. VIEWS: Andrew Wilkinson on taxes, ICBC and union changes

Opposition leader sees unpredictable year ahead in 2019

5 tips for self-care, mental wellness this holiday season

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions urging British Columbians to prioritize self care through festive season

Most Read