Operational update for McDougall Creek wildfire

Central Okanagan, B.C.  - 405 properties remain under Evacuation Order and 12,303 on Evacuation Alert in the Central Okanagan, with 283 on Evacuation Order within RDCO Electoral Area West and 122 within the City of West Kelowna. 

Residents from the Bear Creeks/Rose Valley North and Raymer/Sail View Bay areas are reminded that temporary access to this area has been postponed while a hazard assessment of an unknown odour continues. Crews are working diligently to ensure safe re-entry into these areas as quicky as possible. Future temporary access opportunities or rescindments will be announced on cordemergency.ca.

Increased RCMP enforcement
To support crews and security in the evacuated zones, RCMP have increased their enforcement activities and boat patrols over the weekend. Residents are reminded that while firefighting aircraft are actively conducting operations, and designated areas along the lake are under evacuation order, boats are required to stay off the water north of the William R. Bennett Bridge to Fintry Provincial Park.

Under the Emergency Act, the public is not allowed to access evacuation zones by foot, on- or off-road vehicles, by boat or by air. Offenders can be arrested and can face charges and substantial fines.

Safe re-entry into neighbourhoods continues to be a top priority as fire fighting efforts continue. As critical infrastructure, such as hydro, gas and water treatment, are restored and dangerous trees and other hazardous materials are removed on public property, Evacuation Orders will be downgraded.

 Evacuation Order and Alert areas can be confirmed at cordemergency.ca/map. As Evacuation Orders are downgraded, residents can prepare to return home by visiting resources online to help make a safe return at cordemergency.ca/resources.

At this time, residents that missed their temporary access window will not be able to access their properties until Evacuation Orders are downgraded. This allows crews in wildfire affected areas to make headway, which will help bring residents home as soon as possible. 

Area Restrictions
The McDougall Creek wildfire Area Restriction Order which took effect on Aug. 25, 2023 has been extended until Sept 15, 2023, or until the Order is rescinded. More information and map: https://blog.gov.bc.ca/bcwildfire/area-restriction-implemented-for-the-mcdougall-creek-wildfire-k52767/

Current Situation
The McDougall Creek Wildfire is estimated to have consumed 13,712 hectares and continues to actively burn above the Powers Creek drainage located near the Glenrosa neighbourhood of West Kelowna. BC Wildfire Service, West Kelowna Fire Rescue and RDCO Fire Services continue to coordinate protection and mitigation adjacent to and within the neighbourhoods in this area.

Crews are continuing to mop up any hot spots to secure the containment lines. Nine aircraft are assigned to the fire today, Increased air traffic is anticipated to continue to perform water bucketing operations.

Residents in alert areas are reminded the McDougall Creek wildfire status is noted as out of control and can change quickly. Residents are reminded to be ready with a grab-and-go bag to leave at a moment's notice and be away from home for an extended period.

Planned Ignitions
Small-scale planned hand ignitions will continue this weekend to remove unburnt fuel and strengthen containment lines. Planned ignitions are an integral part of fire suppression and wildfire management.

Personnel will continue with these operations today as conditions allow. As a result, smoke may increase in visibility to nearby communities as these planned ignition operations are underway.

More information
Visit BC Wildfire’s website for full incident information for the McDougall Creek wildfire.

Residents are asked to stay up to date through the CORD emergency site and subscribe to receive e-updates. Supports are available through the Resiliency Centre and Emergency Support Services (ESS) reception centre. Learn more about accessing supports at cordemergency.ca.

For more information, contact the information line at 250-469-8490 (local) or 1-877-569-8490.

For municipal and local government information such as landfill and transfer station hours, water restrictions, boat launch, park and road closures, visit their websites:

•    City of Kelowna
•    City of West Kelowna
•    District of Lake Country
•    Regional District of Central Okanagan
•    Westbank First Nation