Additional forest fire evacuation orders issued in British Columbia due to forest fires

At least 160 properties have been ordered to evacuate as a massive wildfire burns in the South Okanagan.

The Osoyoos Indian Band ordered the evacuation of more than 100 properties on Monday due to the Inkaneep Creek wildfire on band lands, about six kilometers north of Osoyoos.

The Okanagan-Similkameen Regional District said the flames were moving rapidly north and declared a local state of emergency on Monday evening and ordered the evacuation of 60 properties, followed by evacuation alerts for nearly 100 others and the whole town of Oliver.

The BC Wildfire Service website shows that the fire has already burned approximately seven square kilometers and staff have worked through the night, reporting “aggressive fire behavior.”

Separate fires in the Southern Interior forced the Thompson-Nicola Regional District to order the evacuation on Monday of 28 properties near the community of Westwold and seven properties near Lake Heffley, the latest in a series of ‘district orders.

The fires affecting the regional district are among nearly 300 fires across the province.

The orders came as the provincial organization that coordinates emergency support warned that housing available for thousands of wildfire evacuees was exhausted in the Thompson and Cariboo areas, and some evacuees were sheltered. as far south as Chilliwack.

Emergency Management BC encouraged all those who have decided to leave their homes for larger communities due to the smoky conditions to consider returning to make room for those facing a direct threat. Smoke conditions are changing and moving, so those who have left their homes are not necessarily reducing their exposure, he said in a statement on Sunday.

Environment Canada issued air quality statements in western Canada on Monday due to smoke from forest fires between British Columbia and Ontario.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on July 20, 2021.

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