Fire update: Shelter Cove fire not doused by rains, evacuation order still stands

Steep terrain, dry conditions and heavy fuels have continued to challenge fire suppression efforts in Shelter Cove, despite rainfall.

Steep terrain, dry conditions and heavy fuels have continued to challenge fire suppression efforts in Shelter Cove, despite a late night rainfall.

The Evacuation Order for the 430-hectare Shelter Cove fire remains in effect this morning for approximately 70 homes along Westside Road.

Properties affected by the order include those from 3985 Westside Road north to La Casa Resort (but not including La Casa) and the following roads: Denison Road, Shelter Cove Road and Deighton Road.

North Westside and Wilsons Landing structural fire crews knocked down a few hotspots during their overnight patrols through the evacuated area. BC Wildfire Service ground firefighters also monitored the fire overnight which remains at an estimated 430-hectares. At this point in fighting the active fire, there are no structures known to be lost.

The Westside Road wildfire has grown significantly since yesterday due challenging weather conditions. The fire, now estimated at 430 hectares, is currently not contained.

It doesn’t appear as though last night’s storms had any affect on reducing the blaze which  steadily increased throughout Tuesday, peaking in the early afternoon with an active surface and crown fire.

More than nine aircraft supported ground crews, including airtankers, skimmer aircraft and helicopters, said Melissa Klassen, a Fire Information Office,

“Airtankers applied retardant along the southern and northern flanks of the fire to slow the rate of spread. One 20-person sustained action crew was on site, working primarily along the south flank of the fire to reinforce retardant lines, and establish hand and machine guard,” said Klassen. “Other resources included one piece of heavy equipment, and three water tenders.”

For more information about this wildfire, please visit www.bcwildfire.ca.

To report a wildfire, please call to 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on cellular networks.

Incident Command will be meeting later this morning to determine today’s plan of attack for fighting the fire. The Wildfire Service says yesterday’s aerial attack focused on building and reinforcing retardant lines along the northern and southern flanks of the fire while on the ground crews and equipment established hand and machine guards.

RCMP members are continuing security patrols on land and on water within the Evacuation Area. Boaters on Okanagan Lake are asked to stay well away from the area in order to allow Wildfire Service air crews to gather water.

Close to 60 people have registered at the Emergency Support Services Reception Centre. The centre will re-open this morning at 8:30 a.m. in the Westside Lions Community Hall, 2466 Main Street in West Kelowna. Residents within the Evacuation Order area should register for assistance by ESS volunteers with food, lodging and clothing needs. As well, volunteers with the Canadian Animal Disaster Response Team (CDART) are on hand to help evacuees that have animals or may call 250-809-7152 for assistance.

There are no Evacuation Alerts associated with this fire. Neither La Casa Resort or Lake Okanagan Resort are under the Evacuation Order or Alert at this time.

Westside Road is still closed between Cinnabar Creek and La Casa Resort. For the latest road information please visit the Drive BC website, www.drivebc.ca.