A reception centre for evacuees is open today at Willow Park Church. - Credit: Carli Berry/Capital News

Fire prevents locals from reaching animals

Kelowna - A resident near the Joe Rich wildfire says he’s been unable to reach his horses

Despite RCMP escorts which allowed some residents to reach their animals near the Joe Rich wildfire yesterday, one person says he has been unable to get to his four horses.

John Collinson said emergency officials have been doing a good job at keeping vandals away from the properties, but haven’t given the animals the same attention.

He said he had a horse trailer assigned to him, but has been unable to reach his animals. His neighbour was able to get all but three of her 18 horses out of the area.

“Fires started burning again between our property on Philpott Road between our place and our neighbours place. As soon as there’s an active fire burning… they just turned our (trailer) around,” he said.

Related: Residents react to Joe Rich wildfire

He plan to check on their situation today, after speaking to the Capital News at the Willow Park Church reception centre.

”My horses are dependant on me,” he said.

A neighbour managed to get Collinson’s dogs from his home, which is located six kilometres up Philpott Road from Hwy 33. Collinson has been staying with his wife at the Holiday Inn.

Darren Achary was prepared for the evacuation, living just past Heartland Ranch.

“I usually have a bag and an earthquake kit,” he said. “We’re pretty much prepared for anything.”

He also has a hunting bag which allows him to salvage in the wilderness if life depended on it.

Achary saw the fire start near his home, and he said police came to his door Thursday afternoon.

He has been staying in a hotel with his wife and two dogs.

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