Thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate from West Kelowna and the Westbank First Nation due to the nearby McDougall Creek wildfire, which has destroyed a significant number of properties.
Here is a timeline of events related to the threat, according to information provided by the Central Okanagan Regional District.
Tuesday, 6 p.m.: The McDougall Creek wildfire is discovered 10 km northwest of West Kelowna.
Wednesday, 10 p.m.: An emergency operations centre is activated in response to the fire, with 4,800 homes in West Kelowna put on evacuation alert. The fire measures less than one square kilometre.
Thursday, 1:25 p.m.: A local state of emergency is issued for the City of West Kelowna, part of Westbank First Nation and the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area. The McDougall Creek wildfire grows to three square kilometres. Evacuation alerts expand to 5,700 homes. An evacuation order is issued for 68 properties.
Thursday, 3:08 p.m.: Evacuation alerts are extended to 924 more properties.
Thursday, 5:24 p.m.: Evacuation orders are extended to 763 more properties, bringing the total to 831. They continue to expand throughout the night.
Friday, 12:07 a.m.: The City of Kelowna declares a state of emergency.
Friday, 2:23 a.m.: The Central Okanagan Regional District says 2,462 properties are under evacuation order and 4,801 properties are under evacuation alert. It confirms some structures have been destroyed.
Friday, 10:30 a.m.: West Kelowna fire Chief Jason Brolund tells a briefing that structures continue to burn, and the fire has been “exponentially worse than expected.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 18, 2023.