Courtenay Medwedew took photos and videos of the helicopters circling near her home as they fought a wildfire in Kelowna July 27. - Credit: Courtenay Medwedew

Kelowna woman watches ‘black smoke billowing’ as crews fight wildfire

Courtenay Medwedew and her family live in the Wilden area

Courtenay Medwedew watched from her window as helicopters dipped buckets into a pond in order to combat a wildfire a little too close to home.

The Kelowna resident and her family are on evacuation alert after a fire, started by two teenagers yesterday, ripped up the mountainside in the Yates Road area of Glenmore.

“We just started to see the dark smoke come over and we look over Blair Pond, so we watched the helicopters just (fly in a continuous) stream for about four hours,” she said.

“They were hitting it quite hard. So there was a lot of action,” she said.

But Medwedew and her family were well prepared.

READ MORE: Okanagan wildfire round-up: 320 firefighters battle scorching heat and flames

“Knowing that we live in an interface area, we always have everything kind of ready to go,” she said.

But it still made her nervous seeing the fire close to her house.

“That was too close for comfort there for sure, when you see the black smoke billowing and how (dry) it is,” she said. “You never know, but we were prepared and just watching it and videotaping it.”

Medwedew said the fire climbed the hillside quickly, and planes and helicopters were dropping water on the fire in unison throughout the day.

“I don’t know how much water is left in that pond,” she said. “They had it quarantined last night.”

The wildfire burning in Glenmore put 933 homes on evacuation alert in the Wildon area.

It started shortly after 1 p.m., closing streets in the 400 block of Yates Road in Glenmore, Kelowna’s platoon captain Tim Light said yesterday.

“We received a 911 of a small fire behind a housing complex,” he said. “When we arrived the fire had advanced up the hill.”

This morning, the Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Centre announced Kelowna firefighters are in the mop-up stages of the fire today, but homes remain on evacuation alert.

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carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

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