'Numerous' homes burned after grass fire breaks out in B.C.'s Lake Country
Up to 300 homes evacuated because of blaze, last estimated at 30 hectares in size
Fire crews in B.C.'s Lake Country have made progress on a grass fire about 30 kilometres north of Kelowna.
- Check the Central Okanagan Emergency Operations website for updates
Officials said more than 300 homes were evacuated Saturday night as fire crews battled the rapidly spreading fire, which broke out around 4:30 p.m. PT.
The fire was last estimated at 30 hectares in size and around 50 per cent contained, although crews are still fighting active fires within the area.
"The fire started as a small grass fire around a rural area," said Lake Country Fire Chief Steve Windsor.
"It's a big area. We're still trying to save some homes that are in jeopardy."
Windsor confirmed "numerous homes" had been lost.
A more accurate picture of the Lake county fire growth. 46 mins form near lake to mid ridge. <a href="https://t.co/T58DgzvYUV">pic.twitter.com/T58DgzvYUV</a>—@vancbcmcarthur
The structure on the left of the red roof house looks as if it has burned down. Water is being pumped on to it. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Lakecountry?src=hash">#Lakecountry</a> <a href="https://t.co/atuEIJuN0K">pic.twitter.com/atuEIJuN0K</a>—@vancbcmcarthur
The blaze is within the jurisdiction of the local fire department, but provincial crews are assisting and the wildfire service has also provided a helicopter and 11 planes. Nearby municipal firefighters have also been called in.
An emergency centre for evacuees has opened up at Kelowna's Salvation Army church.
Officials are asking people to avoid Okanagan Centre Road West, Tyndall Road, Camp Road and the Long Road area while crews work on the fire.