07-20-2009, 03:32 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
3 different Forest Fires In Kelowna
Fire crews continue to battle 3 West Kelowna blazes
B.C. officials in the West Kelowna area say they have one wildfire about 40 per cent contained, but admit they have been unable to get a handle on two others burning in the region.
The first fire, which began at 2:40 p.m. Saturday in the Glenrosa neighbourhood, is 40 per cent contained, Jenelle Turpin of the West Kelowna emergency operations centre told CTV News Channel on Monday.
That fire is now 400 hectares in size, Turpin said.
Fire crews managed to build an access round around the fire's eastern edge, which allowed them to move water trucks into the region.
However, the second fire, which is burning in the Rose Valley Dam, is not at all contained and covers about 150 hectares.
Officials said steep terrain in the area has hampered fire crews.
"It's only being attacked right now by water bombing activity," Turpin said. "So that is the big focus there. At least with Glenrosa they're able to get ground crews in. But it still is difficult terrain."
A third fire, in the Terrace Mountain region, has now grown to 850 hectares, due to high temperatures and dry conditions. This fire does not affect any structures.
"Water bombers are preparing now to start going up at first light to try and dump water and fire retardant on that fire," CTV's Jill Macyshon told Canada AM on Monday morning, from Kelowna.
Temperatures in the region are expected to be high on Monday, but it is the wind that is of most concern to fire crews.
Kelowna Fire Chief Rene Blanleil said winds were calm overnight. However, the forecast calls for temperatures to reach 35 Celsius on Monday and winds to gust up to 35 kilometres per hour, he said.
"That will be difficult for crews, if the wind does pick up this afternoon," Blanleil told Canada AM.
So far, 11,000 people have been told to leave their homes, while another 6,000 are on evacuation alert. Some are staying at a local community centre or in hotels, while others are bunking with friends and family.
"People are concerned -- people who are on evacuation notice -- that maybe they might be forgotten," Macyshon said. "Some say they can't sleep, that they haven't been able to sleep for days since this fire broke out. So there is still a great deal of concern among the population here."
Local resident and evacuee Chris LaFace spent Sunday night in a Holiday Inn.
"There are a lot of rumours circling amongst the chaos, but it seems that my house might have been saved due to the work of all the volunteers and everybody fighting the fires," LaFace told Canada AM on Monday.
Officials don't know when residents will be allowed to return home.
"The biggest thing is containment and getting rid of these fires," Turpin said.
The cause of the fires, which have so far destroyed three homes, is still under investigation.
Link:CTV.ca | Fire crews continue to battle 3 West Kelowna blazes
i personally know 3 people that have been evacuated, and 1 person that has been evacuated twice, all together about 11000 people have been evacuated and none of them have a place to stay cuz all the hotels/motels are all full....i really hope thay can contain the fire...