British Columbia

8 homes destroyed in wildfire in B.C.'s Lake Country

A fast moving wildfire in Lake Country B.C., 30 kilometres north of Kelowna, continues to threaten homes.

Only half of 55-hectare wildfire is contained, officials say

One of the homes destroyed by wildfire in Lake Country B.C. on Saturday, July 16, 2017. (Brady Strachan/CBC)

A fast moving wildfire in Lake Country B.C., about 30 kilometres north of Kelowna, has destroyed eight homes and damaged more than 30 properties in total since it started Saturday afternoon.

While this home was destroyed, the residence next to it in Lake Country B.C. appears untouched. (Brady Strachan/CBC)

On Monday, officials said crews have contained about 75 per cent of the fire, which is 55 hectares in size.

The fire is still burning but crews have surrounded most of the fire with retardant, according to a statement from the Regional District of the Central Okanagan.

Crews hope to start rescinding evacuation alert and orders later on Tuesday. 

Tracie Tozer was at home with her young son Noah when the fire started.

"I saw just a big tuff of smoke and I said 'Noah, get your stuff … get the animals,'" she said before fleeing the area.

The fire quickly spread through the area late Saturday night (Michael McArthur/CBC)

On Monday afternoon officials said 58 properties remain on evacuation order along Nighthawk Road, Long Road and Tyndall Road, while other alerts had been rescinded.

The view of a wildfire fire burning in Lake Country B.C. on Saturday, July 15, 2017 from the west side of Okanagan Lake. (Michael McArthur/CBC)

"Just hoping that it's going to be fine when we get back to the house ... everything is going to still be there," said Tozer.

An emergency centre has been set up for evacuees at the Salvation Army Church in Kelowna at 1480 Sutherland Avenue.

'People need to be ready'

On Saturday in Kamloops as Transportation Minister Todd Stone met with evacuees from Williams Lake, he stressed the importance of being ready to leave B.C.'s Interior.

"It is tinder dry, and what we saw happen in Lake Country yesterday, with a small fire that erupted very quickly, that spread very very fast, there was no time to gather one's belongs and to determine what one's evacuation plan was," he said.

"People need to be ready. Let's hope for the best, let's hope that we get a break from Mother Nature, but we are on the front end of the fire season and people need to be prepared."

A number of homes were lost after flames quickly spread through the area 0:30

With files from Brady Strachan, Tanya Fletcher and Mike McArthur.