Evacuation alert issued for Wilson Landing area residents

Only link between Vernon and West Kelowna on west side of Okanagan Lake is now cut off due to forest fire.

  • Sat Jul 28th, 2012 12:00pm
  • News

A four hectare fire burns near Wilson's Landing

Update: Westside fire remans 20 per cent contained as of Monday morning.

Westside Road has now been closed from the Bear Creek Main Forest Service Road through to the Jenny Creek subdivision at Browse Road as the Wilson Landing forest fire remains only 20 per cent contained.

Wildfire Management Branch fire fighters have been working overnight to re-establish containment lines on the Wilson’s Landing wildfire.  The fire is now estimated at 30 hectares in size.

Strong down slope winds, aggressive fire behaviour and unsafe terrain hampered fire fighting efforts overnight.  It is estimated that the blaze jumped the guard around 11 p.m. Sunday night.

Air tankers and three helicopters are responding to slow the fire’s growth.  Ground crews are actively burning fuels between the fire and Westside Road to establish a fire guard against the road.  Westside Road will remain closed for public safety reasons.

The fire broke out Saturday morning after lightning strikes were recorded in the area south of Fintry Provincial Park the previous evening.

An evacuation alert was issued earlier this morning for close to 50 property residents in the Wilson Landing area.

The fire is situated on a steep sloped firearea of the Westside, about 500 metres west of Westside Road, currently about 30 hectares in size. The fire jumped the fireguard early this morning that had been set up on the weekend, with the flames having reached Westside Road.

All residents in the fire area are being advised to travel north through Vernon along Westside Road.

For updated information on the status of the road please monitor the www.drivebc.ca website or the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

The evacuation alert means residents in the following areas are advised to make preparations and be prepared to leave their homes on short notice:

•    1655 – 2326 Westside Rd

•    Browse Rd

•    Bolton Rd

•    Banff Rd

•    Baird Rd

•    Bancroft Rd

•    Jenny Creek Rd

 

Those residents affected by the evacatuion alert should:

• Locate all family members or co-workers and designate a meeting place outside the evacuation area, should an evacuation be called while separated.

• Gather essential items such as medications, eyeglasses, valuable papers (i.e. insurance), immediate care needs for dependants and, if you choose, keepsakes (photographs, etc). Have these items readily available for quick departure.

• Prepare to move any disabled persons and/or children.

• Move pets and livestock to a safe area.

• Arrange to transport your household members or co-workers in the event of an evacuation order.

• Arrange accommodation for your family if possible. In the event of an evacuation, reception centres will be opened if required.

• Monitor news sources for information on evacuation orders and locations of reception centres.

Further information will be issued should the situation change or visit the RDCO emergency website at www.cordemergency.ca.

For an updated status on the condition of the Wilson Landing fire, check ut the website www.bcwildfire.ca.

Westside fire four hectares in size, 20 per cent contained

(Saturday, 4:30 p.m.)

Crews are still on scene battling a fire south of Fintry Provincial Park that is now four hectares in size.

According to fire information officer Michaela Swan, 28 firefighters and three helicopters are currently on site. She added that the blaze is 20 per cent contained.

“It’s looking better for sure. We haven’t seen any growth in the fire in the last hour,” said Swan.

Swan said the firefighters are hoping to have the blaze contained by day’s end.

“Crews will remain on site tomorrow as well.”

No structures are immediately threatened from the fire. Swan said the terrain is giving firefighters an additional challenge.

“Slope often acts like wind on a fire. It’s really easy for those fuels to dry out right above the fire, which makes it spread faster. That will contribute to how long it takes to extinguish the fire.”

Original story:

Crews are on scene, dealing with a fire south of Fintry Provincial Park, near Wilson’s Landing that is currently 2.5 hectares in size.

“It’s definitely an active fire right now. With the fuel over there, and the slope, it’s very difficult for our crews to access that area,” said fire information officer Michaela Swan.

“Right now the air tankers are (in) action and they’ve called for an additional helicopter to help put water on that fire.”

She added that no structures are immediately threatened from the blaze.

Swan said it is suspected that the fire started from Friday’s lightning storm; however, an investigation is needed to confirm that.

The first reports on the fire came in shortly before 10 a.m. Saturday morning.

Unconfirmed reports suggest crews may need to close Westside Road.

wpaterson@kelownacapnews.com