UPDATE 8:00 p.m.:
Central Okanagan residents displaced by the White Rock Lake wildfire are one step closer to returning home.
The Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Rapid Damage Assessment Team has already inspected more than 250 homes within the district along Westside Road and work is expected to be complete by Thursday.
“We strongly encourage people to attend our Returning Home Information Session on what to expect when they can ultimately return home,” said emergency operations centre director Corie Griffiths.
This information session will be live-streamed Wednesday, Sept. 1, on the district’s YouTube channel.
It will cover the assessment processes, provide updates on restoring utilities and cover dangers that may still exist on the property as well as provide health and mental well-being supports and coordinate waste management services.
A copy of the live stream will be available on the channel for those who couldn’t participate live.
Containment of the 81,362-hectare White Rock Lake wildfire is closer after the successful completion of a large-scale burn Monday (Aug. 30).
BC Wildfire Services said containment may now be achieved in the next seven to 10 days, rather than upwards of six weeks if the fire was left to burn at its own pace.
A plume of smoke, comparable to a mushroom cloud, was visible over the North Okanagan Monday, and the provincial agency warns smoke will continue to rise from the Irish Creek area where the burn occurred.
Now, 120 members of the Canadian Armed Forces are mopping up and patrolling the west and north flanks of the fire.
This planned ignition operation brought the fire down to control lines in several key areas in the northeast flank of the fire, reducing the risk of further fire growth.
Three hundred and 45 wildland firefighters along with 52 firefighters from various departments are assigned to the fire. They are aided by seven helicopters, five danger tree fallers and 38 pieces of heavy equipment.