Aerial crews are on site

Update: Public asked not to stop on highway for Drought Hill forest fire

Order required to facilitate evacuation of one home in the 4700-block of MacKinnon Road.

  • Aug. 7, 2014 6:00 p.m.

Update 7:00 a.m.

It’s been a good night for BC Wildfire Management firefighters monitoring the Drought Hill fire just north of the Okanagan Connector Highway 97C.

Cooler temperatures overnight and little or no wind helped keep the fire activity low.

BC Wildfire Management says the fire remains within retardant guards and is estimated at 30-hectares in size.

One home in the 4700 block of MacKinnon Road remains under Evacuation Order.  No further orders or alerts are in place at this time.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure reminds motorists of a westbound lane closure along Highway 97C the Okanagan Connector, approximately four kilometers from the junction with Highway 97.  Watch for emergency vehicles in the area due to the Drought Hill fire.  For the latest information visit

Update 6:30 p.m.

The public are asked not to stop on Highway 97C near the Drought Hill Forest Fire zone. The area needs to be kept clear for emergency personnel to effectively action the fire.

A local state of emergency has been declared to facilitate the evacuation of one home in the 4700-block of MacKinnon Road in West Kelowna as it is endangered by the Drought Hill forest fire.

The wildfire is now estimated at 13 hectares in size, being fought by 35 firefighters from the West Kelowna and Peachland fire departments along with B.C. Wildlife Management Branch firefighters.

The fire, which began at 2:30 p.m. this afternoon, has now reduced traffic to one lane in both directions on the Okanagan Connector, Highway 97C, through the fire zone.

Currently, three helicopters, two air tankers and four skimmers are dumping water and retardant on the fire, as air tankers started to drop buckets of water on the blaze at about 3 p.m.

Peachland residents have been dealing with a layer of smoke reaching lower areas of the Okanagan town, along with the increasingly familiar sound of helicopter blades and water tankers overhead, but the flames are thus far working with fire crews and moving away from populated areas.

“Right now the fire is burning up slope,” said Kelsey Winter, fire information officer with the B.C. Wildfire Management Branch, adding that retardant has been dropped on about 75 per cent of the fire perimeter.

“There’s a pretty calm north easterly wind, and it’s going up.”

The Regional Emergency Program is mobilizing the Emergency Operations Centre, and asking  that the public not call 911 regarding this particular fire as emergency personnel are aware and on it.

They’ve also requested that area residents avoid the Trepanier and Highway 97C areas so emergency responders can effectively perform their duties.

Motorists heading along Highway 97C are asked to slow down and stay away from emergency vehicles and watch for any lane closures and traffic personnel.

Monitor, or  for confirmed information about the situation

The public can watch for updates at

Keep checking back at for further updates.

Just Posted

Four arrests made after couple steals cash stolen in robbery

Kelowna RCMP made four arrests in two “bizarrely related” crimes carried out in Kelowna.

Banner year for housing construction, real estate

If the ample supply of cranes lining Kelowna’s skyline aren’t evidence enough, there’s more cause to believe that this city is in the throes of a building boom.

UPDATE: Rockslide keeps Coquihalla northbound lane closed

Highway 5 is closed in one direction.

National organizations to aid Kelowna homelessness strategy

The City of Kelowna has attracted two nationally recognized groups to its homelessness task force

Racers connect with international event at Big White

The 2nd annual event is designed for racers from different countries to bond together

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Mellof, Koffski remain atop Super League

A look at Week 13 of action from the Kelowna Curling Club

A look at potential Canadian nominees for this year’s Oscars

The nominations are to be revealed Tuesday morning for the 90th Academy Awards

Letter: West Kelowna needs more police with crime rising

Letter writer not happy with the state of democracy in West Kelowna with regard to crime and police

B.C. expert weighs in on why kids are eating Tide pods for fun

Why are kids taking part in something completely pointless yet so risky?

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington on Vancouver Island

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, vehicles buried under more than three feet of snow

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Most Read