Peachland wildfire burns close to highway, threatens home
Local state of emergency remains in place after evacuation of one West Kelowna home
Dozens of firefighters are battling a 30-hectare wildfire Friday between Peachland and West Kelowna that is burning very close to Highway 97C.
The good news is that the blaze just north of the Okanagan Connector did not grow overnight, according to Kelsey Winter, a fire information officer with the wildfire management branch.
A local state of emergency remains in place after the evacuation of one threatened West Kelowna home.
- On mobile? Click here to watch video of the fire, courtesy Castanet.net
- West Kelowna wildfire evacuation order expanded to 2,500 residents
- West Kelowna wildfire: Evacuation order rescinded for 2,200
"The same kinds of winds today, just that same northeasterly push upslope, is good," Winter said. "It takes it away from the highway and away from the homes."
That said, there's still a lot of fuel on the ground, he said.
"Grass and open timber, and there's a lot of needles on the ground so that was one of the things that was generating all the smoke yesterday. We are heading into a period of hot and dry temperatures so that doesn't make anything easier."
One westbound lane of Highway 97C has also been closed four kilometres west of the junction with Highway 97, and the public is urged to use this route only if necessary.
Forestry officials say the cause of the Drought Hill fire is under investigation but it is suspected to have been sparked by humans.
Crews from B.C. Wildfire management as well as 35 firefighters from West Kelowna and Peachland are on the ground fighting the fire.
Three helicopters, two air tankers and four skimmers are also involved in the fire fighting effort. The Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Centre says more fire crews are on the way.
With files from CBC's Luke Brocki