WEST KELOWNA, B.C. – UPDATE 10:45 a.m. August 9th – BC Wildfire Management Branch, supported by structural fire crews from West Kelowna and Peachland, will continue to fight the Drought Hill fire today which remains at 40 hectares in size and is not contained.
The fire was calm overnight and remained within fire retardant lines and crews will work to establish containment guards through the rough terrain and aircraft will continue to action the fire from the air.
Highway 97C will return to normal function later this morning with the removal of single lane closures.
The Evacuation Order has been changed to an Evacuation Alert for one property in the 4700 block of MacKinnon Road. No further orders or alerts are anticipated at this time.
PEACHLAND, B.C. – UPDATE 12:15 p.m. August 8th – The Drought Hill wildfire is now estimated to be 40 hectares, growing from 30 overnight. The Wildfire Management Branch, West Kelowna and Peachland fire departments have 85 personnel working on the blaze.
Retardant lines continue to be reinforced Friday by airtankers. Hot spots are being actioned by four water bombers and two helicopters working with ground crews.
While winds were calm overnight, the potential for extreme fire behaviour exists Friday afternoon.
Gusty winds and high temperatures are forecast, which could fan flames and make for more extreme fire behaviour.
Information about the fire can be accessed at the Central Okanagan Emergency website.
PEACHLAND, B.C. – UPDATE 7:00 a.m. August 8 – Cooler temperatures and little to no wind helped keep fire activity low. The fire is estimated at 30 hectares in size. One home in the 4700-block of MacKinnon Road remains under evacuation order.
PEACHLAND, B.C.–UPDATE 8:00 p.m. The Drought Hill Forest Fire, now estimated at 30 hectares, will be monitored overnight by BC Wildfire Management Branch.
PEACHLAND, B.C.–UPDATE 6:15 p.m. A Local State of Emergency has been declared to facilitate the evacuation of one home on the 4700 block of MacKinnon Road in West Kelowna due to the Drought Hill forest fire.
The fire has grown to 25 hectares.
PEACHLAND, B.C. – UPDATE: 5:20 p.m. The latest release from the Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Centre calls fire ‘The Drought Hill Forest Fire’. Between West Kelowna, Peachland and B.C. Wildfire branch, there are 35 fire personnel on the ground actioning the blaze.
UPDATE: 5:11 p.m. The blaze is holding at 13 hectares, according to B.C. Wildfire information officer Kelsey Winter, and is moving north-east away from Highway 97. There is one structure near the fire, but retardant lines have been set between it and the fire, says Winter.
UPDATE: 4:35 p.m. Wildfire information officer Kelsey Winter says the fire has grown to 13 hectares, is a Rank 3 blaze, which means is a moderately vigorous ground fire. About 75 per cent of the blaze is surrounded by retardant. Four air tankers, two skimmers, and three helicopters are on the scene.
UPDATE 3:40 p.m. The blaze is now reported to be four hectares. Kelsey Winter, fire information officer at the B.C. Wildfire branch says four air tankers and two helicopters are on the scene along with six wildland firefighters. Another crew of 20 firefighters are on the way.
The blaze is burning through very dry terrain, according to Winter, with pine trees and grass fueling the flames. Winds are reportedly calm.
West Kelowna and Peachland fire crews are assisting.
3:58 p.m. The first update has been released from the Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Centre.
3:15 p.m. Flames have quickly blown up the hillside beside Highway 97C, the Okanagan Connector, near Peachland following reports of a grass fire.
The blaze is said to be about 3 acres and is burning in forest that is hundreds of meters from homes. The call came in at 2:40 p.m. Thursday.
B.C. Wildfire crews have a water bomber and helicopter on the scene dousing the flames across from the info booth stop aside the highway.
Traffic is down to single lane westbound.
The District of West Kelowna says the Emergency Operations Centre is being mobilized and are asking the public not to call 911 as emergency authorities are aware of the blaze and working on it.
Watch for updates on possible evacuations at the CORD Emergency website.