UPDATE 4:53 p.m.
The City of Vernon ESS Reception Centre continues to receive residents who are being evacuated due to the White Rock Lake Fire (#K61884) and are being directed to register in Vernon.
Starting Wednesday, Aug. 4, the reception centre will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, at the Dogwood Gym, until further notice.
Direct access to the Dogwood Gym is available via the Halina Centre and Priest Valley Arena parking lot, at 3409-35th Avenue. For those attending the reception centre, please note:
All evacuees should register online with the ESS Evacuee Registration & Assistance (ERA) tool even if you do not require referrals such as housing or other services: ess.gov.bc.ca
UPDATE: 2:14 p.m.
The White Rock Lake wildfire is burning about 15 kilometres west of Westside Road and evacuation orders affecting 544 properties in the Westshore Estates and nearby rural areas are still in effect.
Another 2,400 properties remain on alert.
The Regional District of Central Okanagan said all alerts and orders remain unchanged and in place. Westside Road remains closed to northbound traffic, meaning there’s no way to Vernon.
RCMP continue to patrol the evacuation area to ensure things are secure.
Structural fire crews are also on scene conducting assessments.
Those evacuated who need assistance and lodging can register at the Salvation Army in Kelowna (1480 Sutherland Ave.). The facility is open from 10-6 p.m. daily.
Those who don’t require assistance may register online at ess.bc.ca.
UPDATE: 11:20 a.m.
BC Wildfire Services says aerial support is back in the fight as forecasts call for better visibility over the next two days.
The cause of the 32,500-hectare blaze is still undetermined at this time.
ORIGINAL: 9:30 a.m.
More than 320 evacuees of the White Rock Lake wildfire registered in Vernon over the past 24 hours but that’s only from one of the four municipalities affected.
The wildfire continues to burn out of control at an estimated 32,500 hectares — growing about 200 hectares overnight — around 34 kilometres northwest of Vernon. Evacuation alerts and orders are in effect in four jurisdictions and the Okanagan Indian Band.
More than two dozen arriving and departing flights from Kelowna International Airport (YLW) on Tuesday, Aug. 3, have been cancelled due to a no-fly zone linked to area wildfires.
BC Wildfire Services said variable amounts of rainfall offered short reprieve over the past two days, but drier, warmer air is in the forecast which will dry forest fuels quickly. Ten to 20 km/h winds are also called for with temperatures around 30 C.
Clearer conditions are expected over the next several days which would allow for the safe use of airtankers. Eleven helicopters are assigned to the fire to bucket problematic areas.
Forty-seven pieces of heavy equipment are being utilized as crews continue to secure the guard along Adelphi Road towards Wood Lake and working toward the east building guard, north of the fire perimeter.
One-hundred and 36 firefighters, 99 of which are from Quebec, assigned to the fire continue to mop up and extinguish hot spots that may have crossed the guard on the north and southwest flanks and along Beautiful Road, south of Salmon River Forest Service Road.
Structure protection crews, consisting of 110 personnel from 35 different fire departments, have completed a full assessment from Monte Lake towards the Falkland Corridor by Highway 97 and along West Side Road.
Crews are ready to deploy protection apparatuses as required to Westwold, Falkland, Cedar Hills, Pinaus Lake and Okanagan Indian Band land 24-7.
Area residents shared footage of fire trucks driving toward Westwold, emblazoned with logos from Vancouver Island fire departments including Courtenay, Mill Bay and Sooke.
Regional District of North Okanagan evacuees can register at the City of Vernon’s Emergency Support Services Reception Centre at the Dogwood Gym in the Recreation Centre (3409 35th Avenue).
Evacuation orders and alerts remain in effect for thousands within the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, Columbia-Shuswap Regional District, RDNO, Regional District of Central Okanagan and the Okanagan Indian Band.