Update on White Rock Lake wildfire

Thursday, August 19, 2021 - 10:15am

News release No. 30, Central Okanagan, B.C. — Crew continue to patrol affected areas and action spot fires over the past 24 hours with crews remaining on site overnight. Cooler temperatures have provided some reprieve, however conditions remain extremely dry. The White Rock Lake fire is still classified out of control and continues to be active.

“Yesterday was a day of healing as a number of support agencies were escorted by North Westside Fire Rescue into the area,” says Alex Van Bruksvoort, Fire Chief North Westside Fire Rescue. “Pets were rescued, areas of damage were mapped and we were able to welcome residents back to areas that were taken off evacuation order and put on alert.”

Further assessment of properties in the Ewings Landing and Killiney areas within the Regional District of the Central Okanagan on the west side of Okanagan Lake was conducted yesterday and five additional properties have been identified as sustaining significant damage.

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.

It’s important for all evacuated residents to register with Emergency Support Services at ess.gov.bc.ca even if they do not need assistance as this is one way property owners will be contacted when there is an update on the status of their property and when it is deemed safe to provide escorted tours through the affected areas.

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.

“North Westside Fire Rescue has been busy putting out many spot fires including a dock fire to save a boat on its lift and multiple trees and stumps. This is all work being done so we can allow residents back it once the area is safe,” says Van Bruksvoort.

Residents in alert areas are reminded to be 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, pre-register with ESS online at ess.gov.bc.ca, make arrangements for pets and pack 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.