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McNaughton Road residents in West Kelowna allowed to go home

Depending on weather conditions, planned ignitions are scheduled by BC Wildfire Service
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More than 250 structure protection crews are ready in the Glenrosa neighbourhood on Saturday, Sept. 2 in case the McDougall Creek wildfire spreads south towards the community. (BC Wildfire Services)

UPDATE 1:30 p.m.

Evacuation orders have been downgraded to alerts for West Kelowna residents in the McNaughton Rd area of West Kelowna and Westbank First Nation IR#10.

The following properties may return to their homes:

  • 1531 SOOKINCHUTE CRT
  • 1441 BEAR CREEK RD
  • 1449 BEAR CREEK RD
  • 1455 BEAR CREEK RD
  • 1461 BEAR CREEK RD
  • 1463 BEAR CREEK RD
  • 1465 BEAR CREEK RD
  • 1489 BEAR CREEK RD
  • 1491 BEAR CREEK RD
  • 1525 BEAR CREEK RD
  • 1555 BEAR CREEK RD
  • 1595 BEAR CREEK RD
  • 1527 MCNAUGHTON RD
  • 1537 MCNAUGHTON RD
  • 1547 MCNAUGHTON RD
  • 1557 MCNAUGHTON RD
  • 1567 MCNAUGHTON RD
  • 1577 MCNAUGHTON RD
  • 1587 MCNAUGHTON RD
  • 1592 MCNAUGHTON RD
  • 1597 MCNAUGHTON RD
  • 1602 MCNAUGHTON RD
  • 1605 MCNAUGHTON RD
  • 1609 MCNAUGHTON RD

These residents still must have a go-bag ready in case they have to leave again at a moment’s notice.

Original

Warmer weather is in the forecast but the cooler overnight temperatures have been helping keep the McDougall Creek wildfire at bay.

The blaze remains most active at the south and southwest flanks, with peak fire activity coming between the hours of 3 and 6 p.m. Overnight temperatures ranging from 8 C to 12 C and rising humidity have significantly helped reduce fire behaviour.

On Saturday, Sept. 2, the forecast is sunny and expected to reach 30 C, the warmest day of the week but temperatures will cool down on Sunday to a high of 26 C.

The south end where the fire is most active is above the ridge line on the east side of the Powers Creek drainage. BC Wildfire Service has been undergoing “substantial forward planning” to address concerns for the surrounding areas.

Because of safe egress routes created in the last couple days, crews can now directly attack the blaze above the Glenrosa area. In an area where heavy machinery can’t work due to steep terrain, BCWS has two 20-person crews working by the fire to build a fuel-free buffer.

Crews have to hand-build the buffer, which includes intensive labour work. The completion of this control line and adjacent machine guard is expected to be completed in the next 72 hours. While putting the control lines together, crews are receiving rotary wing aerial support to slow the spread of the blaze to the control area.

Once the control lines are in place, crews will execute small hand ignitions to bring the fire’s edge to pre-established control lines where crews can safely battle the blaze. To access future planned ignitions in the area, crews will conduct a 3.5-hectare ignition today (Sept. 2).

Additionally, if conditions are favourable Monday, Sept. 4, crews will conduct a 150-planned ignition on the north side of Carrot Mountain. This is separate from the 250-hectare planned ignition, which will be conducted on the northwest side of the mountain.

Structure Protection

In case the fire spreads south, structure protection crews continue to be at the ready in the Glenrosa neighbourhood.

Structure protection trailers and a mass water delivery system have been delivered and are set up in the area, as a result.

More than 250 structure protection personnel are on scene.

BCWS says its biggest worry is if there are multiple dry days in a row with little precipitation and winds gusting up to 40 km/h in the area. At this time, it is scheduled to be sunny and cloudy with a high of 24 C almost every day for the next week but wind conditions are to remain calm.

Structure protection crews are also set up at the cabins by Lambly Lake.

Evacuation Orders and Alerts remain

The McDougall Creek wildfire continues to be a wildfire of note and remains out of control, sitting at 13,723.3 hectares.

At this time, all evacuation orders and alerts remain the same. Visit cordemergency.ca for more information and maps of evacuation alerts and orders.

It was announced Wednesday that residents who lost their homes will receive a phone call about a bus service that will take them to their property but they are not allowed to get out of the bus.

On Friday, Aug. 25, BC Wildfire Services implemented an area restriction order which remains in effect until Sept. 8 or under rescinded. This order is in place for public safety because of the following hazards:

• Heavy equipment and chainsaw operators: Heavy equipment and chainsaw operators can’t hear or see you when operating equipment.

• Ash pits: Deep, intensely burning stumps and tree roots may result in hot ashpits underground that can lead to severe burns if you step or fall into one.

• Falling trees: Drought and burnt-out tree roots cause unstable trees that may fall at any time, especially if it’s windy.

Through the long weekend, additional conservation officers will be on-site enforcing the restriction order. Anyone found in the restriction area will receive a $1,150 fine.

Transport Canada and the BC Wildfire Service prohibit the use of drones of any size near a wildfire. The operation of any aircraft not associated with fire suppression activities within a radius of five nautical miles around a fire, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or drones), is illegal. Anyone found interfering with wildfire control efforts may face penalties of up to $100,000 and or up to one year in jail.

READ MORE: Air quality statement in place for majority of Okanagan due to smoky skies


@cunninghamjordy
jordy.cunningham@kelownacapnews.com

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Jordy Cunningham

About the Author: Jordy Cunningham

Hailing from Ladner, B.C., I have been passionate about sports, especially baseball, since I was young. In 2018, I graduated from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops with a Bachelor of Journalism degree
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