Some Westside Road residents can return to their homes after a hasty Friday night evacuation due to the 55,700-hectare White Rock Lake wildfire, which has been burning for the past month.
The Regional District of Central Okanagan has rescinded the evacuation order for La Casa Lakeside Resort, Fintry, Upper Fintry and Shalal Road and properties north of and including 6409 Westside Road to La Casa — though those properties remain on evacuation alert and residents should be prepared to leave again if fire behaviour changes. The alert area includes properties in communities along Westside Road from the south end of Valley of the Sun to north of and including 6409 Westside Road.
“While it is good news to be able to rescind a number of the evacuation orders at this time, allowing residents and property owners to access their homes, it is important that the public remains on alert,” says Michael Mercer, director, Central Okanagan Emergency Operations. “We are anticipating unpredictable winds in the valley and extreme heat in the coming days, which means conditions can change quickly.”
The evacuation order remains in place along Westside Road from the regional district’s northern boundary through the south end of Valley of the Sun. The order includes a mostly rural area of forest service roads outside the boundary of the North Westside Fire Service Area to the west of Westshore Estates and public land within the RDCO boundary north and west of the Valley of the Sun subdivision. For a map of homes on both evacuation order and alert, visit cordemergency.ca/map.
Currently, 125 structural firefighters are working alongside local fire departments to protect homes and other buildings. However, assessments for structural damage have not been conducted in some areas due to the fire’s unpredictable conditions.
Emergency support services remain available at a reception centre at 1480 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. It is open until 8 p.m. today, Aug. 9, to assist evacuees from across the province. Evacuees and those on alert can also register for emergency services online at ess.gov.bc.ca.