Update on White Rock Lake wildfire

Friday, August 20, 2021 - 11:49am

News Release No. 32 Central Okanagan, B.C. — Cooler weather conditions are helping with fire suppression efforts but conditions remain extremely dry. Overnight, firefighters and equipment from North Westside Fire Rescue continued their patrols in communities they serve along Westside Road, putting out hot spots and spot fires. The White Rock Lake wildfire is still classified as out of control and evacuation orders and alerts remain unchanged.

“As another day came to an end, I was reminded of the amazing people of the North Westside resolve to keep on going. The phone calls of humanity towards their animals and pets, kept coming in to the volunteers to rescue,” says Alex Van Bruksvoort, Fire Chief North Westside Fire Rescue. 

“The Regional District of Central Okanagan and fire crews of North Westside will continue to support multiple agencies, until it’s safe to bring the residents into the area to continue their healing and to make their plans for the future, on the North Westside.”

There is a chance of rain and thunderstorms developing in the coming days. But while forecasted rain may diminish fire activity in the short term, persistent drought conditions will continue to cause fuels to quickly dry out again.

A 52-kilometre contingency guard has been established south of the fire perimeter from Chapperon lake to Fintry Park. Heavy equipment is also working on a guard along the southeast corner, north of Fintry Park, closer to the fire’s edge. Air support continues to monitor the south flank of the fire.

The Emergency Operations Centre has been working to contact all property owners whose properties have been significantly damaged in the fires. Staff have been in touch with most property owners and will continue to notify impacted residents directly.

Planning is underway to provide property owners with an area tour. Details will be provided directly to property owners as soon as they are available.

It is important for all evacuated residents to register with Emergency Support Services at ess.gov.bc.ca even if they do not need assistance. This contact information is one way for the Emergency Operations Centre to reach out to property owners in the event that initial assessments indicate their property has sustained significant damage.

Evacuated residents can call 1-833-498-3770 to register and access assistance, such as lodging and food, from Emergency Support Services. ESS reception at 1480 Sutherland Avenue is open today from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

There has been a generous outpouring of support from the community. ESS has enough accommodation for evacuees at this time and offers of private accommodation cannot be coordinated at this time.

Residents in areas that are still under Evacuation Alert must remain ready to leave their home at a moment’s notice. They should be prepared to be away from their home for an extended period of time.  This include pre-registering with ESS online at ess.gov.bc.ca, making arrangements for pets and family members with special needs and packing essential items such as medicines and important documents.

For a map of Evacuation Alerts and Orders in effect in the Central Okanagan, visit cordemergency.ca/map.

Residents can stay informed by signing up for e-updates at cordemergency.ca.

Visitors from outside of the Central Okanagan should check DriveBC.ca to confirm highways are open before heading back home. Anyone wishing to check whether friends or family have been evacuated can use the “Find an address or place” search feature on the website at cordemergency.ca/map. Properties within the red outline are on Evacuation Order and properties within the amber outline are on Evacuation Alert.

For more information about this wildfire, visit cordemergency.ca, sign up for e-updates, or call the information line at 250-469-8490.