No change in RDCO Evacuation Order and Alert for White Rock Lake Wildfire
News Release No. 7, Central Okanagan, B.C. – There is no change at this time in the Evacuation Order and Alert for areas of the Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO). The White Rock Lake wildfire continues showing aggressive behaviour and wind is expected later today. Residents in alert areas should be prepared to leave on short notice if conditions in the area change.
Information on the status of current Evacuation Orders and Alerts and a map showing the impacted area is available on the RDCO Emergency program website cordemergency.ca. Any change or update in this information will be available on the website, social media channels, emailed to those who have e-subscribed and through local media.
Evacuation Order Information
The current Evacuation Order affects 544 properties in the Westshore Estates subdivision off Westside Road and rural areas to the west. Residents are reminded that it is unsafe to be in evacuated areas and their presence can put themselves, emergency operations personnel and first responders in harm’s way:
- Evacuation routes can change or become impassible
- Services, utilities and businesses that you rely on daily may be shut down
- Help may not be able to reach an evacuated area because of a risk to their own safety or access is blocked
RCMP are patrolling within the evacuation area and will be requesting residents leave immediately. Structural fire crews are also in the area conducting assessments.
If you are in an evacuated area and not signed up with Emergency Support Services (ESS), please do so at your earliest opportunity whether support is needed or not. This will help ensure that families and communities know residents are safe and accounted for.
An ESS reception centre for evacuated residents is located at 1480 Sutherland Ave in Kelowna. ESS volunteers are available, as needed, to help affected Central Okanagan residents. Residents that are evacuated from their homes must report to the reception centre to receive any short term assistance and lodging. Evacuees can pre-register with ESS online at ess.gov.bc.ca but still need to visit the ESS Reception Centre in order to receive the appropriate supplier forms as specific paperwork is required in order to access these services.
Evacuation Alert Information
Another 2,400 properties along Westside Road are under Evacuation Alert, south of Westshore Estates to the Bear Lake Main Forest Service Road intersection just north of Traders Cove. The alert area also includes all public lands located north of Bear and Esperon Forest Service Road. Drivers should be aware the area is restricted to local traffic only. Should fire conditions change, all people on alert must be prepared to leave their home or campsite on short notice.
Preparing for an emergency
Information on emergency preparedness is available at cordemergency.ca/beprepared and through Emergency Preparedness Canada. If leaving your home due to a wildfire and it is safe, take the following action:
- Close all windows and doors in the house.
- Cover vents, windows, and other openings of the house with duct tape and/or precut pieces of plywood.
- Park your car, positioned forward out of the driveway. Keep car windows closed and have your valuables already packed in your car.
- Turn off propane or natural gas. Move any propane barbeques into the open, away from structures.
- Turn on the lights in the house, porch, garage and yard.
Inside the house, move combustible materials such as light curtains and furniture away from the windows.
- Move all combustibles away from the house, including firewood and lawn furniture.
- Evacuate your family and pets to a safe location.
White Rock Lake fire information
The latest information from the BC Wildfire Service lists the fire as out of control, estimates the size as 32,500 hectares and 8.5 km from Westside Road. For updates on the status of the fire, visit the White Rock Lake wildfire webpage on the BC Wildfire Service website.
Emergency response personnel request that the public:
- Leave areas under an evacuation order immediately.
- Avoid the area so emergency responders can safely and effectively perform their duties.
- Report an emergency, including threat of life, by calling 9-1-1.
- Report wildfires at *5555 on your cell phone
- Visit cordemergency.ca for up-to-date information on evacuations alerts and orders within the Central Okanagan, including a map and to sign up for e-updates
- Find updates on twitter.com/CO_Emerg and facebook.com/CORDEmergency
- Contact the information line at 250-469-8490 or 1-877-569-8490 toll-free with questions
- Resources are stretched at this time, residents are encouraged to make plans for their pets and animals in the event of an Evacuation Alert to and Evacuation Order
- Road closure information for the affected area can be found at DriveBC.com
- Overdose prevention site locations can be found at InteriorHealth.ca
Emergency operations staff will release any new information to the public and media as soon as it becomes available.