Evacuation orders issued south of Peachland, B.C., as Mt. Eneas wildfire grows

Several homes and campsites south of Peachland, B.C. have been ordered to evacuate following the growing Mt. Eneas wildfire.

People in homes and campsites have been ordered to leave, after lightning strike starts blaze

Highway 97 between Peachland and Summerland is currently open to single-lane alternating traffic with an RCMP escort. (Jeremy Loewen)

UPDATE: B.C. wildfires trigger evacuations, highway closures in Okanagan

Several homes and campsites near Peachland, B.C., have been ordered to be evacuated due to the growing Mt. Eneas wildfire burning in the Okanagan.

B.C. Wildfire Service says the fire, discovered on Tuesday, was caused by lightning and has now grown to 200 hectares.

Late Wednesday evening, several evacuation orders were issued to properties in the Central Okanagan and Okanagan-Similkameen.

Lightning struck a hillside near Peachland on Tuesday evening as a storm passed through the Okanagan. (April Loewen)

North of the fire, residents of 7100-7210 Brent Rd. and 7212-7280 Highway 97 South have been ordered to leave their properties immediately.

An emergency support services reception centre is being set up at the Lakeview Heights Baptist Church, located at 2630 Alhambra Dr. in West Kelowna.

Displaced residents must report to the reception centre to receive lodging and assistance.

Dozens of residents have been evacuated from properties in the Central Okanagan and Okanagan-Similkameen due to wildfire. (Colleen Loewen)

Nearly 10 kilometres north of Summerland, B.C., people have been ordered to evacuate 43 properties including all campsites at Okanagan Lake Provincial Park.

Residents of 365 Callan Rd., 364-697 Highway 97, and 429-528 North Beach Rd. are asked to leave immediately and register at the emergency social services reception centre, located at the Penticton Community Centre.

"People are co-operative, they understand the situation, and we've been doing what we can to try to communicate with people about being prepared for this type of event," said Erick Thompson, an information officer with the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.

Thompson recommend people in the region assess their preparedness for wildfires and other natural disasters, put a plan in place, and prepare an emergency kit with essentials, medications, and important documents.

Highway closures

Highway 97 is partially closed between Peachland and Summerland, according to DriveBC. 

The highway is currently open to single-lane alternating traffic in both directions with an RCMP escort.

According to a release from West Kelowna police, RCMP were called to assist the B.C. Wildfire Service in closing the highway near Brent Road, in the vicinity of Antlers Beach, around 3:30 p.m. because of a fire burning close to the highway.

Motorists are being encouraged to use alternative routes, via Highway 97C, Highway 5A and Highway 3, and to avoid the area in general.

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