British Columbia

Evacuation orders issued, expanded as B.C.'s wildfire threat refuses to subside

Evacuation orders were issued for multiple B.C. regions Sunday, as wildfires continue to upend residents' lives well into September.

New evacuation orders in Sunshine Coast, Central Okanagan and Cariboo regions

Smoke rises from a fire near a lake on a sunny day from above.
The Glen Lake Wildfire is seen in an aerial photo roughly 15 km west of Peachland, B.C., on Sunday. (Submitted by B.C. Wildfire Service/Twitter)

Evacuation orders were issued for multiple B.C. regions Sunday, as wildfires continue to upend residents' lives well into September.

The orders cover portions of central B.C., the Sunshine Coast, and the Okanagan region — which has already seen devastating fires that torched communities this year.

Though the B.C. government ended its provincewide state of emergency Friday, officials have warned residents to be vigilant into the fall.

The Sunshine Coast Regional District has declared a local state of emergency due to the Clowhom Lake wildfire, with an expanded evacuation order now covering 10 properties.

"With the the winds over the weekend and then an incoming cold front, we've just issued some evacuation orders and alerts due to some increased fire activity," said Rob Michael, director of the regional district's emergency centre.

"Given the wind, which is a major determining factor on how fire behaves, we're ready to position to expand our evacuation orders if needed."

Michael said there are a few residential cabins in the area, but officials were particularly concerned over the nearby B.C. Hydro power plants.

Smoke shrouds a mountain range across a lake from a neighbourhood, with many roofs in the foreground of the picture.
Smoke from the Glen Lake wildfire, which is one square kilometre in size, near Peachland, B.C., is visible from Kelowna, north of the fire, on Sunday. (Jay Bertagnolli/CBC News)

He also urged residents to heed campfire bans, which are in place for the entire South Coast and most of central B.C.

"The last thing we need are human-caused or preventable fires happening congruently to this," he said.

Smoky skies bulletins cover multiple regions of B.C., with high winds fuelling major fire growth and smoke in the north.

Evacuation orders for Cariboo, Central Okanagan

An evacuation order has also been issued by Cariboo Regional District for 28 properties in the Horn Lake Area in central British Columbia.

This comes as the B.C. Wildfire Service says fire behaviour on the nearby Hell Raving Creek blaze, which is now 114 square kilometres in size, has worsened due to strong winds.

More evacuation orders were also issued near Peachland in the Okanagan region on Sunday, due to the Glen Lake wildfire. By the end of the day, it had more than quadrupled in size, to nearly 4.5 square kilometres.

The orders cover eight recreational properties in total, according to the Central Okanagan Regional District.

An additional evacuation alert is in place for all areas south of Peachland Forest Service Road, from the five-kilometre marker to the boundary between the Regional District of Central Okanagan and the Regional District of South Okanagan.

The wildfire service says the Glen Lake wildfire, situated about 15 kilometres west of Peachland, is "highly visible" to the surrounding communities and along Highway 97C.

Smoke rises from a picturesque coastal forest.
The Sunshine Coast Regional District has issued a local state of emergency and evacuation orders due to the Clowhom Lake wildfire, seen here on Sept. 15. (B.C. Wildfire Service)

High winds drive Kookipi Creek blaze

A cold front moving toward the southern coast is expected to bring high winds and fire growth near the Fraser Valley into Tuesday, BCWS's Coastal Fire Centre said on Sunday.

Wind gusts up to 50 kilometres per hour will drive the Kookipi Creek fire on Sunday, with some rain expected overnight before a second front arrives on Monday.

"Fire behaviour is expected to remain elevated today, while winds are stronger, and conditions remain dry," said BCWS. "Smoke from the Kookipi Creek fire will be visible from surrounding communities."

The 174-square kilometre blaze is still considered out of control, more than two months after it was discovered south of Lytton in the Fraser Canyon.

More rain is expected to come on Tuesday across the Fraser Valley, bringing elevated humidity with it. 


With files from Akshay Kulkarni and The Canadian Press