Provincial fires crews battle the Trout Creek wildfire near Summerland from the air. Image: Donovan Wagner/Hiilite Web+Marketing

Update: Summerland wildfire forces PIB state of emergency

More than 40 firefighters are on scene of the wildfire near Mount Conkle, just outside of Summerland.

UPDATE: 1:30 a.m.

An evacuation alert has been issued for properties along Garnet Valley Road north of (and including) Wildhorse Road.

RCMP officers were in the area earlier, Wednesday evening, delivering the notice to residents.

This evacuation alert has been issued to prepare residents in case they should have to leave their homes on short notice. Questions may be directed to the District of Summerland Emergency Operations at 250-486-3765.

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UPDATE: 7 p.m.

Heavy winds and a growing wildfire near Summerland has forced the Penticton Indian Band to issue a local state of emergency.

Penticton Indian Band communications coordinator Dawn Russell says the wildfire is currently holding at 65 hectares.

Russel says the PIB Chief and council are now letting residents know they have issued an evacuation alert for 13 addresses near the Mount Conkle wildfire, west of Summerland.

All homes on Shingle Creek Road, north of Green Mountain Road and all residents on Big Valley Road have been asked to prepare to leave on short notice.

The PIB reports the blaze is within 5.5 kilometres of homes, which could become a problem if the winds increase and change direction. A community-wide local state of emergency has also been declared.

The First Nation adds that PIB firefighters continue to work alongside provincial crews to battle the blaze. Heavy winds have significantly increased smoke activity in the area.

To read the release, click here.

Related: Traffic between Peachland and Summerland now getting through slowly on Highway 97

Related: Complete list of B.C. Interior wildfire coverage

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ORIGINAL:

Last night’s lightning-sparked wildfire near Summerland has grown to 50 hectares in size.

According to the BC Wildfire Service, the Mount Conkle wildfire is now a wildfire of note.

As of 2:20 p.m., the wildfire near Shingle Creek Road, eight kilometres southwest of Summerland, is being battled by 42 personnel, three helicopters, heavy equipment and air tankers.

The BC Wildfire Service states that while the Mount Conkle fire is highly visible in the region, no structures are considered threatened at this time.

The wildfire service says this is not an interface fire. A statement from the District of Summerland today says the fire does not pose a risk to the community, but it is being monitored closely.

The Environment Canada weather forecast calls for winds becoming northwest at 20 kilometres an hour this afternoon, and the municipality says the winds could present a challenge for those fighting the fire.

We have a reporter headed back to the scene.

Related: Lightning sparks blaze above Summerland Tuesday

Related: More thunderstorms on the way as fires still burn

Related: Lightning strikes West Kelowna condo

More to come.

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