OKANAGAN (NEWS 1130) – Firefighters on loan to other provinces have been called back to B.C. to help fight wildfires in the interior.
There are more than 30 fires burning in the Kamloops Fire Centre, with about a dozen in the Okanagan Valley sparked by lightning.
“We do have some crews in Quebec and Ontario, they’ve already been out there for about a week or so, so it’s not going to be an immediate recall but definitely the plan is to bring them back earlier than planned and then cycle them in so they can start to relieve some of the crews that we’ve got deployed in B.C. now,” said Kevin Skrepnek with the BC Wildfire Service.
In Peachland, a fast-growing fire has forced the evacuation of 60 properties. The Central Okanagan Emergency Operations says about 150 people are affected by this alert. The Mt. Eneas wildfire is approximately 500-hectares in size.
That fire, and another burning just west of Summerland, have forced the entire District of Summerland to declare a state of local emergency.
An evacuation order issued for Brent Road and Highway 97 South remains in effect.
Skrepnek said cooler weather is giving crews a slight reprieve but conditions remain unsettled, with the potential for more lightning and the forecast calls for a return to high temperatures by the weekend.