Kelowna forest fires push out 550 residents
Ravaged by wildfires back in 2009, Kelowna is dealing with fires once again this year as the summer winds down. The Canadian Press has the story:
A forest fire has forced the evacuation of 550 people near Kelowna, B.C.
The 20-hectare blaze broke out about 10 p.m. Monday night on the west side of Okanagan Lake.
It forced residents out of 106 homes in the small lakefront community of Trader's Cove and campers to leave the popular Bear Creek provincial campsite nearby.
No one has been hurt, no homes have been damaged, and the campground has not been affected by any flames.
Fire Information Officer Lindsay Carnes said the fire began in a hard-to-reach area. ``The fire started in an inaccessible canyon and air support wasn't possible because of the night time, so we can't fly the air tankers and helicopters at night,'' she said.
``Thirteen of our firefighters responded as well as the Kelowna fire department and equipment,'' she said.
Evacuees have been moved to an emergency reception centre in a community hall in the Westbank town centre.
The cause of the fire is not known.
In July of last year, a fire scorched 107 hectares in West Kelowna before firefighters brought it under control. That blaze forced thousands of residents to evacuate the Rose Valley subdivision, but no homes were destroyed.
In August of 2003 a giant forest fire tore through Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park, causing the evacuation of about 27,000 people and burning about 230 homes in south Kelowna. Despite the widespread destruction, no was killed.