Residents offered bus visits to burned homes in and around West Kelowna, B.C.

Residents offered bus visits to burned homes in and around West Kelowna, B.C.
The McDougall Creek wildfire burns on the mountainside above a lakefront home, in West Kelowna, B.C., on Friday, Aug. 18, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Officials in British Columbia’s Central Okanagan say people whose homes were destroyed by the wildfire in and around West Kelowna are being contacted to schedule escorted bus visits to assess the damage.

A statement from the regional emergency operations centre says only people whose properties are completely destroyed or damaged to the point they’re uninhabitable will be invited to participate at this time.

It says the process is aimed at ensuring people who have lost their homes “have the privacy, time and space to be the first to see their properties.”

It adds that bus visits are being offered before officials lift any further evacuation orders in neighbourhoods ravaged by wildfire nearly two weeks ago.

The 126-square-kilometre McDougall Creek wildfire continues to burn out of control in the hills above the area, and is part of a complex of fires that destroyed or damaged nearly 190 properties.

To the north, in the Shuswap region, the threat of the Bush Creek East blaze has prompted a new evacuation order for 14 properties in the Sorrento area, where wildfire has already destroyed or significantly damaged nearly 170 properties.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 30, 2023.

The Canadian PressThe Canadian Press

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