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Fires Still Burning In British Columbia

FireThe CBC latest report: Most Okanagan evacuees to return, others ordered out

As thousands of residents forced out of their homes by two fires in West Kelowna, B.C., prepare to head back late Wednesday afternoon, fire officials are ordering a small number of Okanagan Valley residents near a third fire to leave.

The new evacuation order was issued for 13 people living on 10 properties near the Terrace Mountain fire about 40 kilometres to the north of West Kelowna around noon on Wednesday, after that forest fire expanded to 2,000 hectares [5,000 acres], sending up huge plumes of smoke.

The residents of the Fintry High Farm area have been told to leave their homes and report to emergency social services at Mount Boucherie Senior Secondary School in West Kelowna.

In addition, an evacuation alert was issued to 2,200 residents and property owners living in several Westside Road communities on the northwest shores of Lake Okanagan, telling them to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.

The Terrace Mountain fire has already burned through thousands of hectares of valuable timber, threatening hundreds of jobs at local sawmills.

Firefighters say the steep, rugged terrain has made it dangerous to put crews on the ground to fight the fire, and it was only 30 per cent contained as of Wednesday morning.

The weather isn’t cooperating and the terrain is bad for fire fighting. The only reason things aren’t worse is because of the lake and the aerial resources just to the South of the fires.