Loon Lake wildfire photo posted on Facebook by Shawn Cahill.

Loon Lake waits to go home

Loon Lake residents still wait and wonder when they can go home

While some of those directly impacted by wildfires are starting to go home, Loon Lake residents are being told they’re going to have to keep waiting.

The Elephant Hill wildfire (formerly the Ashcroft Reserve fire) is now pegged at 56,200 hectares and is considered 30 per cent contained, but on its north flank the fight is far from over.

Related: B.C. state of emergency hits two-week mark

“The north flank of the fire in the Loon Lake and Hihium Lake area was experiencing high-intensity fire behaviour and significant growth yesterday, so the crews and heavy equipment were working towards containment, but they aren’t there yet,” says fire information officer Max Birkner.

“Yesterday there was a lot of spotty precipitation through the area on that fire and today’s weather was expected to be a repeat with a bit less precipitation. The winds are expected to be southerly at 15 km/h with gusts up to 25 km/h.”

Birkner warns residents that it is still a volatile situation in the Loon Lake area and there is no current estimate on when crews can get a handle on that part of the blaze.

“If we got a massive rainstorm tomorrow maybe it would be quicker, but right now there is still significant fire behaviour in that area.”

Earlier this week the Thompson-Nicola Regional District announced a Rapid Damage Assessment Team had completed its damage assessment of properties at Loon Lake due to the Elephant Hill fire.

Related: Cache Creek residents return, crews battle Elephant Hill wildfire

Over the last few days the team has worked to inform residents on whether or not they have lost their homes.

On the Loon Lake Facebook group, residents have been sharing the news with each other and consoling one another over the loss of their homes, decades-old cabins and resorts.

Given the devastation in the region, the Loon Lake community is already vowing to work together and rebuild. A GoFundMe was created this week that has already raised more than $2,000.

Yesterday, Alan Lockmuller posted the video above. It was taken on July 14 as he evacuated the area.

“Sharie and I have been coming here for a dozen years for our vacation – even spent our honeymoon here, we were so impressed by Loon Lake and its people we bought a place last March,” wrote Lockmuller.

“We intend to retire here! We were at the lake when the evacuation order came through. Sorry for all that have lost and thankful for those that have not. Thank you to those on the ground fighting this fire…”

Evacuation orders were downgraded to an alert for the Clinton Corridor and partially for some areas of Cache Creek north, Hihium Lake, Loon Lake and the area east of Clinton.

Related: Clinton Corridor and other evacuation orders downgraded

The new alert includes all properties west of Highway 97 that were previously on an evacuation order and properties immediately bordering the east side of the highway that were previously on evacuation order.

Evac Order Rescind – Loon Lake Partial Order Rescind Jul 20-17 2100 Hrs by Carmen Weld on Scribd

 

Just Posted

High winds cause havoc for sailors

Kelowna Fire Department assists boats with sail problems on Okanagan Lake

Late night confrontation between two men in Peachland

RCMP was called to the scene of a physcial encounter on Saturday evening where one man was injured

Kelowna hotel suffers water damage

Guests at the Royal Anne Hotel in Bernard were greeted by firefighters last night

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

Hodge: You can’t make this stuff up

Kelowna columnist with a story that proves in life, it’s never too late

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

Who is Curtis Sagmoen?

The Observer reveals what we know about the man attached to the Silver Creek property where human remains were found

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

First-place Warriors edge Caps, visit ‘Backs today

West Kelowna scores twice in 25 seconds early in third to overtake Cowichan Valley in BCHL action

Grab a book; thank your librarian

All libraries are cornerstones of their communities and we celebrate them during library month

Five decades of volunteering

Even though she is approaching 70, Merle kindred continues to volunteer around the world

Twarynski trick sends Rockets past ‘Hawks

Rockets end five-game winless streak with victory Friday over Portland

Vehicle leaves scene after striking lamp post

After hitting a lamp post on Springfield Road, a vehicle has left the scene

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Most Read