65The Finlay Creek fire, though still burning, is now 65 per cent contained. (Photo courtesy CJ Ward)

Update: Finlay Creek fire now 65 per cent contained

Evacuation alerts and orders reduced for areas around Summerland

Update: Sept. 11, 9 a.m.

The Finlay Creek wildfire is now mapped at 2,228 hectares and is considered 65 per cent contained.

“Crews continue to gain the upper hand on the fire and are working hard to push guards 100 feet into the burned areas to bolster the guards. Smoke from within the fire perimeter will continue to be visible for some time,” said Heather Rice, fire information officer.

Rice also reminds that though the evacuation order for the Meadow Valley area has been reduced to an alert, the area remains under an area restriction, limiting travel to residents and those working on the fire.

There has been a lot of good news this weekend for people affected by the Finlay Creek wildfire burning between Peachland and Summerland.

Fire information officer Rachel Witt said she only had one thing to report Saturday night, but it was worth sending out an email.

“This fire is now 50 per cent contained. Indirect attack has been very successful and the weather has held off long enough for us to burn off of the guards in case we get winds that increase fire behaviour,” wrote Witt. “The Finlay Creek area received approximately one millimetre of precipitation, which is always helpful in assisting our crews.”

On Saturday, the Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen lifted the mandatory evacuation order for 55 properties the Meadow Valley area west of Summerland.

“All residents removed from their homes can now go back. As the fire is contained but still burning, the Meadow Valley area remains in advisory evacuation alert,” reads the RDOS release.

Darke Lake Provincial Park will remain closed. As well, the province will be maintaining restrictions to limit access to Crown Land in the backcountry area between Peachland and Summerland. Non-residents are advised to stay out of the area as firefighters will be active for potentially several months.

The evacuation alerts in the Faulder area have been completely lifted, as have evacuation alerts the District of Summerland put in place for 29 properties along Garnet Valley Road from Wildhorse Road and north.

“Due to the decreased fire activity, and in consultation with the B.C. Wildfire incident commander, the evacuation alert which was implemented as a precautionary measure can be rescinded,” said Summerland Fire Chief Glenn Noble in a release. “Containment lines on the Garnet Valley side of the fire are well established and holding. Due to the change in the weather, fire activity within those containment lines has been greatly reduced.”

Questions regarding the effect of the Finlay Creek wildfire within municipal boundaries may be directed to Summerland’s Wildfire Information line at 250-486-3765. For more information on Evacuation Alerts please visit www.rdos.bc.ca or contact the RDOS Emergency Operations Centre during business hours at 250-490-4225.

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