Fire 20 per cent contained, highway re-opens

Highway 33 opens as crews continue working on Joe Rich fire near Kelowna

The 465 hectare Philpott Road Wildfire remained active Saturday, mostly within the existing fire boundaries.

The BC Wildfire Service reported that consistent hot, dry weather and flare-ups were challenges throughout the day; however, crews managed to contain 20 per cent of the blaze and focused on strengthening a guard along the north flank. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Officials continue to assess the evacuation order and alert areas, which will remain in effect overnight, affecting an estimated 1,100 people. Visitwww.cordemergency.ca for an interactive map of the evacuation order area and to sign up for emergency e-updates.

Highway 33 opened last night to single lane, alternating, piloted traffic. Obey flaggers and speed limits in the area.

Residents must respect roadblocks and other closures, and exercise caution when driving, especially in areas where people are working or stationed close to the road. Entering areas under evacuation order is prohibited and puts the public and crews at risk.

FortisBC is reporting that power was restored to 435 customers within the evacuation area, with crews working to reestablish service to 45 properties along Philpott Road. For more information, please gohttps://outages.fortisbc.com/Outages/Home/OutageMap.

The Emergency Support Services reception centre at Willow Park Church (439 Highway 33 West, Kelowna) will be open from 12:30 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Anyone under evacuation order should check in with Emergency Support Services.

Residents affected by the Philpott Road wildfire are eligible for up to $600 financial assistance per household by registering with Red Cross. Register atredcross.ca or call 1-800-863-6582.

For the latest information, visit www.cordemergency.ca and follow us atfacebook.com/CORDEmergency or twitter.com/CO_Emerg.