PENTICTON (NEWS 1130) — About 80 homes have been evacuated near Penticton due to an aggressive grass fire.
The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen says flames broke out Thursday, threatening homes in the West Bench area on the city’s northwest side.
First-responders immediately began evacuating homes on several streets overlooking Okanagan Lake and two nearby golf clubs.
The fire is about a hectare in size and three helicopters were assisting to douse the flames.
An Emergency Support Services reception centre has been set up in Penticton for the residents of the 25 homes that have been displaced as part of the tactical evacuation.
“This Tactical Evacuation is in support of first responders that have already been evacuating homes in this area,” a bulletin from the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen reads.20200806_900_Tactical_Evac_Sage_Mesa
Forrest Tower, a fire information officer with the BC Wildfire Service, doesn’t expect the fire to grow much more.
He also expects other wildfires to calm down due to cooler and wetter weather.
“I don’t foresee any large increase in the amount of fires or any current fire really getting into any significant size, just with the predicted weather,” Tower said, adding the wildfire situation this year is unlike what we experienced last year.
The B.C. Wildfire Service rates the fire danger in the south Okanagan as high to extreme and while showers were in the forecast Thursday, there was also the risk of lightning and strong, gusty winds.
According to the BC Wildfire Service, there have been 363 fires in B.C. so far this year, including 120 in the past seven days.