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Conditions at Okanagan’s Mount Law, White Rock Lake fires remain volatile

A detailed damage assessment will be done when it is safe to do so, say wildfire officials
A man looks towards the White Rock Lake fire from downtown Kelowna on Aug. 15, 2021. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)

Crews at the White Rock Lake and Mount Law fires continue to observe aggressive and volatile fire behaviour and residents are urged to follow evacuation orders.

Fire activity at the White Rock Lake fire increased due to drought conditions and high winds. Approximately 50 to 60 structures were significantly damaged due to the White Rock Lake fire but damage assessment cannot be done until it is safe to do so, says BC Wildfire Service. Around 1463 properties are currently under evacuation order because of the White Rock Lake fire. Lower temperatures and moisture later in the afternoon are expected to help with firefighting efforts.

“We understand that this is a stressful time for residents and their families, and we will do everything to provide information when we can,” said Brian Reardon, chief administrative officer for the Regional District of Central Okanagan.

The Mount Law fire continues to grow in the area and crews will continue to focus on fighting the fire and protecting homes being threatened. Approximately 461 properties are under evacuation order due to the Mount Law fire. The situation remains dynamic, and rain is expected later in the day. A small number of structures have been damaged, but there are no preliminary numbers at this time.

“We are fighting fires in the backyards of homes on a number of streets in upper Glenrosa and will continue to do that today,” said West Kelowna fire chief Jason Brolund.

“One firefighter had minor injuries last night, but he is doing just fine,” added Brolund.

The Mount Law blaze is currently an estimated 800 hectares. The fire is suspected to have been human-caused and is being investigated.

Residents under evacuation orders are urged to leave the area immediately, or risk putting their lives in danger. Approximately 10 people had to be rescued for failing to evacuate at the Killiney Beach area, stalling firefighting operations on the water. Multiple residents did not leave their homes, said Brolund.

“Residents who are evacuating must register with Emergency Support Services to get help securing lodging and food,” said Reardon.

The Mount Law blaze continues to burn at an estimated 800 hectares. The fire is suspected to have been human-caused and is being investigated.

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 12:20 p.m. with information from a morning press conference hosted by the RDCO and BC Wildfire Service.

READ MORE: Your Photos: Mount Law fire above West Kelowna


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