Update: 10:06 a.m.
West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater says while an evacuation alert for 198 properties in the upper Glenrosa area of his city is a concern, he is confident firefighters—both from the city and the B.C. Wildfire Service will be able to deal with the flames that prompted the alert.
“We have a whole bunch of people with a job to do and they do it very well,” said Findlater, who lives in the Glenorsa area, just outside the evacuation alert area.
The evacuation alert area includes all properties on streets west of Gates Road (including the west side of Gates Road and Glenrosa Road west of Gates Road) including Carre Road, Chelsea Court, Corine Road, Corral Court, Emerald Road, Fenton Road, Gill Road, McKellar Road, Preston Road, Regent Road, Stonegate Court and Turnbull Road. It covers an estimated 495 residents.
An evacuation alert warns residents to be ready to leave at short notice if required.
The Law Creek Fire, as it’s known, is estimated at eight hectares and is located about six kilometres southwest of West Kelowna.
Findlater said B.C. Wildfire hit the flames hard with aerial drops of fire retardant Thursday and that helped.
But he said smelling smoke and hearing about the evacuation alert in the neighbourhood brings him back to 2009, when he was one of the people evacuated in Glenrosa because of a serious and quickly spreading wildfire that threatened the Gorman Brothers lumber mill and burned a number of homes in the area.
“As a result, now we know the drill,” said Findlater.
The flames of the Law Creek fire were fanned Thursday night by strong winds. While they died down overnight, and it was cooler, Findlater said Friday morning it appeared the wind was picking up again across West Kelowna.
He said because there are so many fires burning in region right now—including the big ones such as the Mt Eneas Wildfire south of Peachland, the Good Creek fire in Okanagan Mountain Park and another large one near Summerland, the province’s resources are being stretched when it comes to forest fire fighting.
“I guess they have to prioritize,” said Findlater about decisions being made in relation to which fire to concentrate on.
In the meantime, he said the city has to sit, wait and let the professionals do their jobs fighting the flames.
Update: 9:45 a.m.
Eighteen firefighters and heavy equipment are on the scene today of a wildfire that continues to burn in the Glenrosa area. Tankers are also on standby for the Law Creek wildfire, according to BC Wildfire Service.
According to the BC Wildfire’s website, “Over the last couple of days wind has been increasing in the late afternoons, making air support difficult and hazardous. This is a challenging fire burning in terrain that is difficult to access.
“Today’s objectives include assigning crews to continue working to contain the flanks of the fire and construct control lines where possible. Crews are also working 25 feet into the fire from the perimeter.”
The fire is mapped at eight hectares.
According to West Kelowna Fire Department chief Jason Brolund, the fire is difficult to access by ground crews and the department has not been assisting wildfire crews with the fire.
West Kelowna firefighters have been lending a hand to Peachland crews, however, as a 1,000-hectare fire blazes south of its borders.
West Kelowna homes remain on evacuation alert as a fire in the Glenrosa area has grown to eight hectares in size.
Approximately 495 residents are affected by the alert and they should be ready to leave their homes on short notice for an extended period of time due to the blaze.
All properties on streets west of Gates Road (including the west side of Gates Road and Glenrosa Road west of Gates Road) are affected by the evacuation alert including: Carre Road, Chelsea Court, Corine Road, Corral Court, Emerald Road, Fenton Road, Gill Road, McKellar Road, Preston Road, Regent Road, Stonegate Court and Turnbull Road.
More to come.