A fast moving wildfire in Lake Country B.C., about 30 kilometres north of Kelowna, has destroyed eight homes and one other structure since it first flared Saturday afternoon.
On Sunday, officials said crews have contained about 50 per cent of the fire, which is 55 hectares in size.
The fire is still burning but crews have surrounded about 80 per cent of the fire with retardant, according to a statement from the Regional District of the Central Okanagan.
Tracie Tozer was at home with her young son Noah when the fire started.
“I saw just a big tuff of smoke and I said ‘Noah, get your stuff … get the animals,'” she said before fleeing the area.
On Sunday afternoon officials said 331 properties along Okanagan Centre Road West, Nighthawk and Tyndall Roads have been ordered evacuated, while another 657 properties were under evacuation alert.
By Sunday evening evacuation orders only remained for about 69 properties along Nighthawk Road, Long Road, Tyndall Road, while other alerts were rescinded.
“Just hoping that it’s going to be fine when we get back to the house … everything is going to still be there,” said Tozer.
An emergency centre has been set up for evacuees at the Salvation Army Church in Kelowna at 1480 Sutherland Avenue.
‘People need to be ready’
On Saturday in Kamloops as Transportation Minister Todd Stone met with evacuees from Williams Lake, he stressed the importance of being ready to leave B.C.’s Interior.
“It is tinder dry, and what we saw happen in Lake Country yesterday, with a small fire that erupted very quickly, that spread very very fast, there was no time to gather one’s belongs and to determine what one’s evacuation plan was,” he said.
“People need to be ready. Let’s hope for the best, let’s hope that we get a break from Mother Nature, but we are on the front end of the fire season and people need to be prepared.”
957 homes in Lake country have either been evacuated or are under evacuation alert. Fire started near the water and worked its way up. pic.twitter.com/cIZHJe1k5g
I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. They are always generous and lend freely; their children are blessed. – Psalm 37:25-26