Ballooning B.C. wildfire prompts evacuation alerts

KELOWNA, B.C. — Dozens of people living in southern British Columbia have been forced to leave their homes as winds fan a wildfire nearby.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen issued an evacuation order Sunday afternoon for 55 properties west of Summerland as crews fight a fire burning about 30 kilometres southwest of Kelowna.

Residents in more than 300 properties in the nearby Central Okanagan Regional District have been warned that they, too, may have to leave on a moment’s notice.

The regional district said there has been “substantial growth” in the fire since it sparked on Saturday.

Strong winds have fanned the flames burning in steep terrain and the wildfire is estimated to be about 10 square kilometres, the BC Wildfire Service said in an update on Sunday.

“The main factors influencing this fire behaviour are terrain, wind speed/direction … and largely this fire activity and rate of spread is due to how dry the fuels are within this area of the Okanagan,” the service said on its website.

The update noted that the area hasn’t had significant rainfall in more than two months.

Twenty-three firefighters, three helicopters and four pieces of heavy equipment were working to contain the fire on Sunday.

Crews are also fighting a series of wildfires in southeastern B.C. that have forced hundreds of people from their homes and closed campgrounds over the long weekend.

The Regional District of East Kootenay has issued evacuation orders for more than 400 properties outside of Cranbrook, as two separate fires continue to burn out of control.

Loree Duczek with the regional district said in a statement that aggressive fire behaviour on Saturday prompted officials to order more people out of their homes.

“We are seeing ash and debris being cast a long distance on the head of the fire,” Duczek said. “Our first priority is public safety. These decisions are not made lightly.”

Heat and wind have created “strong burning conditions,” and there’s very little precipitation on the horizon, the regional district said.

Just Posted

Christmas season in Red Deer begins with Festival of Trees

The kickoff to the Christmas season in Red Deer is upon us.… Continue reading

Judge allows Mr. Big evidence in murder trial

Two men accused of triple-murder admitted their involvement to undercover police

Red Deer agency supporting for LGBTQ2S+ youth

New report on LGBTQ2S+ youth from the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate

Four people arrested after gas and dash

Four people were arrested after an alleged gas and dash in two… Continue reading

VIDEO: Replay Red Deer: Nov. 19

Watch news highlights from the week of Nov. 13

Red Deer Christmas Bureau to help 1,300 children this year

Demand is high, but Red Deer always provides

CP Holiday train to stop in Ponoka for another year

The popular train will feature entertainment from Colin James and Emma-Lee

Kittens rescued after allegedly being tossed from vehicle

Couple finds abandoned kittens new home through Facebook

VIDEO: ‘Party bus’ goes up in flames in Vancouver

Fire crews responded to the late night blaze

Chicken crosses B.C. road, stops traffic

Rooster makes early morning commuters wait in Maple Ridge

Red Deerian honours her brother who died in a motorcycle collision

Houaida Haddad is encouraging Red Deer residents to donate blood

Red Deer County firefighters to be recognized for Waterton help

RCMP brass will give formal recognition Monday

Ron James tries to lighten humanity’s load through humour

The comedian returns to Red Deer for shows Dec. 1 and 2

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month