British Columbia

100s allowed to return home after being forced out by wildfire near Kelowna, B.C.

About 600 people will be allowed to return to their Kelowna-area homes on Sunday, days after they were forced out by wildfire.
Evacuees line up to return to their Kelowna-area homes after they were forced out by a wildfire. (Brenna Rose/CBC News)

About 600 people will be allowed to return to their Kelowna-area homes on Sunday, days after they were forced out by wildfire.

Evacuation orders for 263 properties were lifted at 11 a.m., although residents will remain on evacuation alert, according to Central Okanagan Emergency Operations.

A total of 1,100 people were forced out of their homes on Thursday by the fast-growing Philpott Road wildfire burning just east of Kelowna. By Saturday, the flames had reached within a few hundred metres of some properties, but so far there are no reports of structures being damaged by the blaze.

The fire was last estimated at 465 hectares in size, and is 20-per-cent contained. Hot and dry weather in the Okanagan this weekend have created challenging conditions for firefighters, and there is no rain in the forecast for the near future.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but the B.C. Wildfire Service suspects it to be human-related.

The Philpott Road wildfire near Kelowna is seen from the air on Aug. 26, 2017. (B.C. Wildfire Service)

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