Evacuation order ends for remaining homes over wildfire near Penticton

Evacuation order ends for remaining homes over wildfire near Penticton

Everyone who fled from a wildfire south of Penticton, B.C., is now allowed to return home.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen says an evacuation order that covered 319 properties has been rescinded and downgraded to an evacuation alert, meaning residents should still be prepared to leave again if required.

The Christie Mountain fire scorched more than 20 square kilometres of land east of Skaha Lake last week and destroyed one home.

The B.C. Wildfire Service says the blaze has died down to a smouldering ground fire and is no longer out of control.

In a tweet sent out on Wednesday by the BC Wildfire Service, the organization said that crews are using hand ignitions to burn out pockets of fuel on the Christie Mountain fire. This strategy helps consume unwanted fuels between the line and the fire perimeter.

On Tuesday, officials classified the fire as Rank 1 – this covers smouldering ground fires with no open flames and white smoke that can be attacked directly by ground crews using hand tools, pumps and hoses.

The wildfire service added that 217 firefighters were on-site as of August 25 with support from a dozen helicopters and four water tenders.

On Monday and Tuesday, an evacuation alert was lifted for nearly 3,700 properties in Penticton, where residents had been advised they should be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice.

Crews have suggested that the resources committed to what is remaining of the wildfire have it under control and that it is unlikely to spread under prevailing and forecasted conditions.

As far as Vancouver Island goes, the BC Wildfire Service dashboard shows that the fires that sparked throughout last week are all considered to be under control.

With files to Canadian Press

Graham CoxGraham Cox

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