Phil McLachlan, Penticton Western News

Phil McLachlan, Penticton Western News

Penticton man wakes to wildfire, forced to evacuate

A wildfire sparked off the side of Highway 97 near Penticton on Thursday

After getting up at 7:00 a.m. and reading the paper, Jim Kelly decided to go back asleep this morning.

He was soon awoken by a knocking at his door. It was the police, evacuating the area because of a wildfire.

“I looked outside and saw fire shooting up 20 feet,” he said, describing the blaze that was across from his backyard. “I’m fortunate not to get a fire on my side of the gully.”

The fire forced 74 people to evacuate from their homes just north of Penticton, and temporarily shut down Highway 97.

Helicopters worked to cut down the blaze, and eventually the highway was partially reopened.

By noon, on Thursday (Aug. 6), the blaze was under control and people began returning to their homes.

Erick Thompson is the information officer for the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen. He said crews were first alerted to a grass and brush fire about 8 a.m.

“We’re hoping road restrictions will drop by the end of the day,” he said.

Thompson added residents worried about future evacuation orders can pre-register with the district, and potential evacuees should follow all COVID-19 recommendations, especially if they have symptoms.

The cause of the fire is unknown.

READ MORE: UPDATE: Wildfire between Summerland and Penticton now ‘under control’

READ MORE: University of B.C. study warns wildfire smoke could make COVID-19 symptoms worse

bc wildfires

Just Posted

The City of Vernon is looking for feedback on its designs for a new park in the place of the old Civic Centre. (City of Vernon)
VIDEO: Vernon seeks feedback on new City Centre park

New park designs complete with playground, plaza and sunset hill

Enderby’s Small Axe Roadhouse was the subject of nasty backlash after installing two busty beer towers. (Facebook)
Enderby bar’s busty beer taps to stay put despite backlash

‘Many folks have mansplained to us that we are sexist, misogynistic…’

New Border Bruins owner Dr. Mark Szynkaruk reps team colours with his young sons and wife Tracey. Photo courtesy of the Grand Forks Border Bruins
KIJHL’s Border Bruins sold to Grand Forks doctor

The league announced the sale Friday, May 14

A petition was launched urging the District of Coldstream to consider adding a sidewalk to Aberdeen Road Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (Google Maps)
Aberdeen Road needs a sidewalk, says Coldstream resident

The district ran into a steep price tag and lack of land availability the last time they looked into the idea

Vernon resident David Melanson, 21, left the South Hills Tertiary Psychiatric Centre in Brocklehurst at about 1 a.m. on May 12, the day he was reported missing. (Contributed)
Body of missing Vernon man found in Kamloops Lake

David Melanson, 21, left psychiatric centre around 1 a.m. the day he was reported missing

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Bradley Priestap in an undated photo provided to the media some time in 2012 by the London Police Service.
Serial sex-offender acquitted of duct tape possession in B.C. provincial court

Ontario sex offender on long-term supervision order was found with one of many ‘rape kit’ items

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Rich Coleman, who was responsible for the gaming file off and on from 2001 to 2013, was recalled after his initial testimony to the Cullen Commission last month. (Screenshot)
Coleman questioned over $460K transaction at River Rock during B.C. casinos inquiry

The longtime former Langley MLA was asked about 2011 interview on BC Almanac program

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Steven Shearer, <em>Untitled. </em>(Dennis Ha/Courtesy of Steven Shearer)
Vancouver photographer’s billboards taken down after complaints about being ‘disturbing’

‘Context is everything’ when it comes to understanding these images, says visual art professor Catherine Heard

Vikki and Don Holmberg with their three children Marshall, Ava and oldest Lexi who now lives on her own. The Penticton family is facing the prospect of homelessness after their rental home was sold, leading them to ask the community for help. (Contributed)
‘There’s just nothing’: housing crunch puts Okanagan family on the brink of homelessness

Housing crisis something many in the Okanagan can likely relate to, says mother of three

Trina Hunt's remains were found in the Hope area on March 29. Her family is asking the public to think back to the weekend prior to when she went missing. (Photo courtesy of IHIT.)
Cousin of missing woman found in Hope says she won’t have closure until death is solved

Trina Hunt’s family urges Hope residents to check dashcam, photos to help find her killer

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Restrictions will lift once 75% of Canadians get 1 shot and 20% are fully immunized, feds say

Federal health officials are laying out their vision of what life could look like after most Canadians are vaccinated against COVID-19

Most Read