Uncontrolled wildfire threatens homes in West Kelowna
Published Monday, July 30, 2012 10:47AM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 31, 2012 10:03AM PDT
An evacuation alert has been issued for approximately 45 homes in West Kelowna after a nearby wildfire breached the guard lines Sunday night.
The blaze, which had consumed just five acres of forest when fire crews contained it on Saturday afternoon, was fanned by strong winds overnight and grew to 27 hectares by Monday afternoon, threatening homes in the Wilson’s Landing area.
“Strong down slope winds, aggressive fire behaviour and unsafe terrain hampered fire fighting efforts overnight,” a notice on the Wildfire Management Branch said Monday.
Though the fire is relatively small by B.C. forest fire standards, it’s burning roughly one kilometre from some of the affected homes.
Wilma Lepin, who is among the evacuees, said the situation seems much more dire than in past years.
“The last time we were on evacuation alert [the fire] was way down the lake,” Lepin said. “We were kind of watching and going ‘why are we on evacuation when it’s so far away?”
“This one is really, really close and this one is a bit more of a concern,” she added.
The blaze was considered just 20 per cent contained by Monday afternoon, but aerial crews spent the day working to re-establish containment on either side of the blaze.
About 70 firefighters, five helicopters and three air tankers managed to lay fresh guards around almost three quarters of the wildfire, according to a local fire information officer.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Kent Molgat