Most of British Columbia is ranked high or extreme for wildfire risk, as Environment Canada issues another heat warning for central and interior BC which will remain in effect until Wednesday, July 14th.
There is a fire burning on the southwest side of Skaha Lake, east of the Okanagan Falls, and south of Penticton, according to the BC Wildfire Service.
Households in BC’s Okanagan area were ordered to evacuate their homes because a wildfire was burning fast nearby. Many more people are on standby to evacuate. The order was issued on Sunday, July 11, and applied to almost 80 homes, however, less than 10 people from said 80 homes registered at an evacuation centre.
The evacuation order was brought back down to alert level on Monday, July 12th, due to the wildfire moving in a better direction, away from homes. The wildfire service said 8 firefighters, 2 helicopters and lots of heavy equipment worked through the night in order to control the fire and direct it away from the population.
Officials have asked boats to stay off Skaha Lake, a popular lake for summer tourists, in order to keep it clear for firefighting aircraft using water for extinguish the fire.
Officials are contemplating giving temporary access to farmers that need to feed their livestock. The Regional-District Okanagan Similkameen believes that most of those people who have stayed behind are staying in order to care for livestock.
There are also about 600 homes situated east of the lake, south of Heritage Hills, down to McLean Creek Road, that are under an evacuation alert. The Thompson-Nicola Regional District has also issued evacuation orders because of the Sparks Lake blaze.
Officials urging those in alert areas and areas under order to register online and contact their fire insurance representatives.
There are more than 300 suspected human-caused fires burning across the province right now. 25 fires are visible and considered to be threatening. The wildfire service has confirmed that 173 of these fires were started between Friday and Monday morning, and 2 out of three were started by lightning.