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Residents react to wildfire

Residents near the Joe Rich wildfire gave their perspective yesterday
Residents watched the Joe Rich wildfire yesterday which is located off of Hwy 33 and Philpott Road. - Credit: Carli Berry/Capital News

As the Joe Rich wildfire off of Philpott Road and Highway 33 continues to burn, concerned residents watched as homes were evacuated Thursday afternoon.

A Capital News reporter spoke to those living in the area yesterday as they watched the smoke from afar.

Erin Snyder

She discovered on her way home after her shift at Interior Heath that her home was one of the many being evacuated.

“My husband and kids made it out, but our pets are still there,” she said.

“They got some stuff together. We have a trailer and my husband put as much stuff in there as he could. He said he could see flames at the bottom of where we lived.”

Robert Anderson

Anderson had a loaded camper in preparation for an event like this. Unable to reach his home, his wife packed up their possessions as they were told to evacuate.

“We’re right off Belgo Creek,” he said.

“It’s a home so you don’t about that. It’s the people and some of the possessions, you have pictures,” he added he asked his wife to grab their passports.

Louise Abbott

Abbott was worried about her horses and was unable to get to them due to the danger.

“It’s really close to my house apparently so it’s definitely not good. My horses are in an enclosed pasture area so they can’t even get out, so I’m really worried about them,” she said.

Her significant other was working in Vernon at the time.

“My friends that are on the same road got their horses out, but they weren’t allowed to go back in and get mine. I’m just hoping somehow they can allow us to get back in there to get them because there are tons of horses (in the area),” she said.

Patty Hanson

The Central Okanagan Regional District director also has a home near the area where the wildfire is burning.

She said she has seen fires like this spread quickly in the past.

” I’m not surprised at all because it’s so incredibly dry and we don’t have fire hydrants,” she said.

Hanson said the firefighters have to go farther to find water than in the city due to the lack of hydrants.


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