More than 3,000 properties on alert as Mount Christie wildfire grows to 1,000 hectares

Photo submitted: Dee Hanson
Photo submitted: Ronald Jackson
Fire above Skaha Lake. Facebook

UPDATE: 10:30 p.m.

The Mount Christie wildfire has now grown to an estimated 1,000 hectares in size, according to an update posted by the BC Wildfire Service.

Fire information officer Nicole Bonnett said the size estimate is rough due to the smoke impeding visibility in the area.

Twenty-one personnel will remain on-site overnight as firefighters continue to construct control lines. Structure protection crews will also remain on scene overnight.

An evacuation order remains in effect for 319 properties in the Heritage Hills area of Okanagan Falls. Click here to find a full list of impacted properties.

Another 3,669 properties located within the southeast portion of Penticton remain on an evacuation alert.

________

UPDATE: 9:31 p.m.

The City of Penticton is issuing an evacuation alert for 3,669 properties located within the southeast portion of the city.

The alert area includes properties within the following street boundaries.

  • Lakeside Road
  • South Main
  • Main Street
  • Industrial/Okanagan Avenue
  • Alison Street
  • Penticton Creek
  • Syer Road

The evacuation alert is being issued to prepare residents, businesses and visitors to evacuate their premises or property in the event an evacuation order is issued.

The City of Penticton is working with the Regional District of the Okanagan Similkameen and BC Wildfire to assess the situation.

According to the city, property owners will be given as much advance notice as possible prior to an evacuation order; however residents may receive limited notice due to changing conditions.

Residents and property owners are strongly advised to take proactive measures to prepare for an evacuation order.

Evacuation alert for properties in the Upper Carmi area:

20200818_2100_RDOS_EOC_Evac… by Jen Zee on Scribd

UPDATE: 8:50 p.m.

The Mount Christie wildfire has now grown to 500 hectares in size according to the BC Wildfire Service dashboard.

Flames are now visible from some places in Penticton.

The fire is approximately 6 kilometres north of Okanagan Falls on the east side of Skaha Lake.

Residents of 319 properties have been ordered to leave the area immediately. For a full list of properties under evacuation order click here.

UPDATE: 8:20 p.m.

As dusk sets in, flames from the 250-hectare fire at Mount Christie are becoming more visible.

Witnesses continue to take to social media, posting their photos of the blaze.

(Ellen Davey Facebook photo)

______________

UPDATE: 6:36 p.m.

The Mount Christie wildfire has now grown to 250 hectares in size according to the BC Wildfire Service.

More information and updates from the BC Wildfire Service can be found here.

“We anticipate we will see further growth once we are able to get a more accurate track of the fire,” reads a tweet from the BC Wildfire Service.

UPDATE: 5:51 p.m.

The Mount Christie wildfire has now grown to 10 hectares in size according to the BC Wildfire Service.

“This is a rapidly evolving situation, and the fire is now classified as a wildfire of note,” reads a tweet from BC Wildfire.

The fire is approximately 6 kilometres north of Okanagan Falls on the east side of Skaha Lake.

The status of the fire is currently active with zero per cent being contained. BC Wildfire has indicated the fire is an active surface fire with an organized flame front.

More information can be found here.

UPDATE: 5:06 p.m.

The Regional District of the Okanagan Similkameen is issuing an evacuation order for 319 properties in the Heritage Hills area of Okanagan Falls, as the Mount Christie wildfire continues to spread.

Click here to find a full list of impacted properties.

20200818_1630_RDOS_EOC_Evac… by Jen Zee on Scribd

If your residence has been placed on an evacuation order, you’re asked to register at ess.gove.bc.ca or at 199 Ellis Street in Penticton.

Police have set-up a road block in the southbound lanes of South Main Street near Skaha Marina. Motorists are advised to find an alternate route.

————-

ORIGINAL:

A wildfire is burning out-of-control in the Mount Christie area above the Heritage Hills neighbourhood about 6 km north of Okanagan Falls.

The fire was first reported about 2 p.m., Tuesday, after witnesses saw smoke billowing above Eastside Road and Skaha Lake.

The blaze is estimated at 10 hectares in size.

BC Wildfire is working to gain access to the blaze and crews are being supported by air tankers.

According to BC Wildfire Service, the blaze is described as an active surface fire with an organized flame front.

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) Emergency Services has confirmed that air and ground resources are currently being deployed to the fire. Boaters are asked to avoid the area.

Investigators are en route to determine what caused the fire.

More to come.

READ MORE: Temperature records broken in Central and South Okanagan

READ MORE: Crazy Creek fire grows, new fire near in North Okanagan

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