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    Default Thousands flee massive wildfire near Kelowna, B.C.

    Thousands flee massive wildfire near Kelowna, B.C.
    Updated Sat. Jul. 18 2009 10:01 PM ET

    CTV.ca News Staff

    A massive wildfire has forced thousands of people to flee their homes near Kelowna, B.C.

    The flames first broke out around 3:00 p.m. local time and have destroyed three homes. At least 12 more homes are threatened by the flames, according to the BC Forest Service.

    The flames are also burning dangerously close to the Gorman Brothers sawmill, which has huge stacks of stored lumber on site.


    A massive evacuation in West Kelowna is underway, snaring traffic along Highway 97, which is a major artery in the area, located in the southern interior region of the province.

    By 6 p.m., the fire was burning across 50 hectares in the Glenrosa neighbourhood, which is located on the city's western end, according to the Service.

    Fire crews are currently battling the flames, along with five choppers and three groups of air tankers, which will drop fire retardant on the fire, the Service said on its website.

    "Our number one priority is to protect life and property," the website message read.

    The forecast for this week calls for hot and dry weather, and officials are telling the public to be extra vigilante with fire safety.

    The fire's origin is still under investigation.

    More to come ...
    When I turned on the TV around 6:30pm I caught a Breaking News story about the fire. Apparently a dozen homes have now been lost, not three as the article states. I believe they said the mill had also caught fire from embers but I could be wrong. Either way, it's not going to be a fun night in the Kelowna/Westbank area. The town of Westbank is close to evacuation. Wind is a big problem, and the fire has jumped huge distances.

    Hoping the crews all stay safe!
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    First update this morning ....

    Nine houses claimed in 300-hectare forest fire in District of West Kelowna

    Vancouver Sun
    July 19, 2009 8:09 AM
    Comments (1)
    StoryPhotos ( 2 )
    More Images » The fire continues to rage as the sun sets over the Okanagan.
    Photograph by: Marissa Maecker, Special to The Vancouver Sun

    OKANAGAN — The forest fire burning up the Glenrosa area of West Kelowna has claimed nine houses, forced the evacuation of 4,500 more — and continues to spread.


    Dry conditions, strong wind and hot weather have spurred on the fire, which increased in a matter of hours to 300 hectares from 15 hectares Saturday evening.


    So far, at least nine homes have been destroyed, Forests Minister Pat Bell told Global TV. He said the fire has the potential to be worse than a 2003 fire that destroyed more than 200 homes.


    He said residents should be "prepared to move if they have to."


    Airplanes combatting the flames have been grounded for the night, but are scheduled to be back in the air by 5 a.m., Bell added.


    Earlier, the fire jumped Highway 97 — closed in both directions from Peachland to the junction with Westside Road — and began moving east towards Okanagan Lake, the ministry's website said.


    About 10,000 residents have fled 4,500 homes, according to a news release from the Kelowna emergency operations centre.


    Another 20 hectare fire is burning near the Rose Valley Reservoir, the release added.


    Evacuees were being sent to Mount Boucherie secondary school, Turpin said, as well as Royal LePage Place, a 1,500-seat arena.


    The West Kelowna Fire Department is fighting the fire with B.C. Forest Services with assistance from the Peachland and Kelowna fire departments.


    Forty-five firefighters from the B.C. Forest Service, along with three groups of air tankers and five helicopters are battling the blaze, according to a news release from the Ministry of Forests.


    At the request of the fire department, BC Hydro cut the power to nearly 4,000 area residents.


    Residents affected by the fire were asked to call 250-469-8490.


    West Kelowna has a population of 29,000 and is in the midst of a heat wave with no relief in sight as temperatures are expected to reach the mid-30s Celsius for the next seven days.


    In 2003, a 250 square-kilometre fire ravaged Okanagan Mountain Park and led to the evacuation of about 27,000 people and destruction of over 200 homes.


    More to come...


    Send in your reports in the comment box below.


    E-mail us your photos.

    © Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

    Your Comments
    Jim Copley
    July 19, 2009 - 12:38 AM
    Flag this as Inappropriate
    Another forest fire disaster in BC's interior. We had a fleet of Martin Mars fire fighting monsters, where are they now? Two destroyed and one in California helping Americans with their wild fires. What would it cost to build a similar plane? Would it be less than the $700 million King Jean paid for 3000 tons of useless submarines that their only use {if they ever are used} will be to test sonar capabilities of Russian trawlers? Priorities anyone?
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    2nd update ...

    Thousands flee homes from ravages of B.C. fires

    Canwest News ServiceJuly 19, 2009 8:33 AM
    StoryPhotos ( 3 )
    More Images » Photo of Glenrosa - Westbank
    Photograph by: Courtesy of the BC ministry of forests, Courtesy of the BC ministry of forests

    KELOWNA, B.C. -- A wildfire raging in central B.C. has forced the evacuation of 6,500 homes, temporarily stranding more than 17,000 people, emergency officials confirmed Sunday.


    Evacuation orders have been put in place for communities along the western shore of Lake Okanagan, including all Glenrosa and Rose Valley, while evacuation alerts have been issued in West Kelowna Estates, Crystal Springs, and Shannon Woods, Jenelle Turpin of the B.C. ministry of forests' emergency operations centre said.


    Turpin said that there had been not yet been any injuries, but said up to nine houses had been destroyed by the fire.


    Dry conditions, strong wind, and hot weather have spurred the fire, which quickly increased from 15 hectares on Saturday evening to about 300 ha. Sunday morning.


    As of Saturday night, 45 firefighters, seven helicopters and eight waterbombers have been dispatched to contain the blaze. Another 80 firefighters from the B.C. Forest Service are expected to arrive at the site Sunday, according to the ministry of forests.


    Evacuees are being sent to a 1,500-seat arena, as well as a local high school, Turpin said.


    The cause of the fire is not yet known.

    © Copyright (c) Canwest News Service
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    Another pic ...
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    The picture in my last post was at dawn.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    September 11th - Never Forget

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    Today's update ...

    More ordered from their homes as fires burn near Kelowna

    11,000 evacuated and another 6,000 on standby
    By Rebecca Tebrake and David Karp , Canwest News Service
    July 19, 2009 Be the first to post a comment
    StoryPhotos ( 3 )
    More Images » Photo of Glenrosa - Westbank
    Photograph by: Courtesy of the BC ministry of forests, Courtesy of the BC ministry of forests

    WEST KELOWNA — British Columbia authorities ordered the evacuation of dozens of more homes late Sunday afternoon as wildfires raged through tinder-dry forests near Kelowna in the B.C. Interior.

    Those residents join about 11,000 others who have already been told to leave their homes. Meanwhile, another 6,000 remained on standby to flee.

    Precise figures released Sunday night pegged the number of people evacuated from 4,920 homes in Glenrosa and Rose Valley at 11,250. Another 6,190 residents were on alert in 2,125 homes in Bear Creek, Shannon Woods, West Kelowna Estates, Crystal Springs and Brookhaven.

    No injuries have been reported but at least three structures have burned to the ground.

    While there was a curtain of smoke hovering across the city of Kelowna, population 110,000, the beaches of this popular holiday region were packed Sunday as temperatures pushed 30 degrees and people were jet-skiing on Lake Okanagan.

    To the west of Kelowna, the air was filled with air tankers and helicopters battling the fires.

    The fires broke out Saturday — one in the Glenrosa neighbourhood of Westbank, about 15 kilometres southwest of Kelowna and the other the Rose Valley Dam area of West Kelowna. The two fires are roughly 10 kilometres apart.

    Fire investigators were on the scene Sunday afternoon trying to determine what caused the fires.

    “They are completely separate. One wasn’t caused by the other,” said fire information officer Elise Riedlinger. “However, it’s probably not a complete coincidence, considering the fire danger rating is high to extreme.”

    The Wildfire Management Branch of the B.C. Ministry of Forests stated that the cause of the current fire was “under investigation.”

    A third fire at Terrace Mountain, west of Okanagan Lake, was becoming particularly aggressive, growing to roughly 850 hectares, but not threatening homes. Some 70 firefighters were assisted by four helicopters and air tankers in that operation.

    “Efforts are under way to address other properties for various states of possible damage,” Regional District of Central Okanagan spokeswoman Jenelle Turpin said Sunday.

    Theresa Greene and her teenage son Adrian were watching the air tankers blast Glenrosa with fire retardant on Sunday afternoon. Ironically, they were watching from Bertram Creek Regional Park, which was ravaged by the massive Mountain Park fire in 2003.

    “It’s sweet to see fire, it sucks to have it, but it’s not something you see everyday,” said Adrian Greene.

    People have also been camping out in shopping mall parking lots, if they were lucky enough to take their trailer when they were forced out of their homes.

    John Luczi was watching the fire Saturday night from his home in Westbank, the community right beside Glenrosa.

    “The wind was incredible. It was coming from every direction,” said Luczi. “The whole side of the mountain was glowing red embers and as the wind blew it got lighter and darker.

    “I don’t want to say awesome, but it was, in a fear-inspiring way.”

    Luczi’s wife and two teenage children, who live in a separate house, were evacuated overnight.

    “They were scared, they were trying to act tough, but I knew they were nervous when they called me,” he said adding the family took photos, video games and books before they left the house.

    RCMP officers have been patrolling the area to make sure residents are obeying the order. Not everyone was doing so however.

    Steve Smith was watching the fire and smoke creep closer to his lakeside house Saturday night as he stood on his property.

    He was working on his lawn with three friends armed with water hoses, washing down his roof and the trees on his property. He said hot embers were falling all around the area.

    Smith said he was too frightened to leave his uninsured home to fate.

    “I don’t want to lose my house. I live right by the lake; if I see anything coming close, I’ll go away in my boat,” he said, adding that he had already evacuated his wife, 14-year-old son and their family pets.

    The Rose Valley Dam fire was growing and estimated at 150 hectares on Sunday afternoon, while the Glenrosa fire, which was 40 per cent contained, stood at 400 hectares. More than 1,200 residents in the Rose Valley Dam area received evacuation orders Sunday morning, while roughly 15,800 Glenrosa residents received evacuation orders.

    Another 1,500 homes in West Kelowna Estates were put on evacuation alert at 3 a.m. on Sunday as a result of the Rose Valley Dam fire, meaning residents must be ready to evacuate if necessary on short notice.

    Power was restored to Glenrose and downtown Westbank Sunday afternoon but remained out in other isolated areas.

    Winds between 40 to 60 kilometres per hour overnight caused the fires to spread rapidly since they were discovered on Saturday. Hot summer temperatures and gusting winds forecasted for the area will likely pose difficulty for firefighters in the coming days.

    Over 200 firefighters, 10 helicopters and eight air tankers from B.C. Fire Service were working to fight the two main fires. Firefighters from the West Kelowna Fire Department were also contributing.

    “I was told by the provincial air tanker centre that this is one of the most challenging flying conditions they have ever seen,” said Riedlinger.

    Riedlinger said crews dropped 250,000 litres of fire retardant on the two fires on Saturday, surrounding 90 per cent of the Rose Valley Dam blaze.

    “But it doesn’t mean it’s contained,” said Riedlinger. “It slows the spread of the fire, but the ground crews still have to work on building a guard.”

    The weather in the area will be crucial in whether people can return to their homes anytime soon, B.C. Forestry Minister Pat Bell said Sunday.

    However, the cost of firefighting resources is not an issue, Bell told Global News.

    “We’ll put whatever we have to on these fires,” he said.

    Sunday’s forecast was for northwest winds gusting up to 35 kilometres per hour, with temperatures in their high 20s to low 30s. Temperatures in their 30s are also forecast for Monday and Tuesday, with light winds on Monday and gusting winds up to 35 kilometres per hour on Tuesday.

    Turpin was urging residents not to use sprinkler systems on their homes in order to conserve water for firefighters.

    “We are asking people not to waste water so that all our resources are not taken away,” said Turpin. “There is (enough water for firefighters), but it’s just an issue making sure our resources aren’t tied up.”

    There are also many farms in the area. The regional district was urging farmers to move their livestock to other locations if possible.

    Dozens of Kelowna-area residents pitched in over the weekend to rescue pets and livestock left behind in the rush.

    Participants said 30 to 40 horse trailers from around the region were driven into the fire area to rescue horses, in an effort organized through word of mouth.

    Kelowna is in the Okanagan Valley in an area not unfamiliar with forest fires.

    Most notably, in 2003, a 250 square-kilometre fire ravaged Okanagan Mountain Park and led to the evacuation of about 27,000 people and destruction of over 200 homes. It was one of B.C.’s most devastating fires in recent history.


    © Copyright (c) The Victoria Times Colonist
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    New Gallery: Forest fire tears through West Kelowna

    Forest fire in West Kelowna in pictures

    http://www.timescolonist.com/Gallery...071/story.html
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    Update ....

    Some residents returning home after B.C. fires forced evacuation
    By Kelly Sinoski and Rebecca TeBrake, Vancouver Sun
    July 21, 2009 4:01 AM
    StoryPhotos ( 1 )Video ( 1 )
    Firefighters clean up hotspots in an area where a wild fire burned in Kelowna, British Columbia, northeast of Vancouver, July 20, 2009.
    Photograph by: Andy Clark, Reuters

    WEST KELOWNA, B.C. — More than half the people forced to leave their homes in West Kelowna, B.C., because of a massive forest fire on the weekend will be allowed to return home Tuesday morning but remain on evacuation alert.


    Forest fire officials lifted the evacuation order for 1,942 homes — and 6,000 people — saying there is no inflammable vegetation left to burn in the area.


    Residents can return home starting at 8 a.m.


    “The alert is still in effect and it’s very obvious that there are three fires burning in our communities and the threat is still imminent,” said Rene Blanleil of the Emergency Operations Centre.


    The news comes as fire crews made significant progress, aided by low winds, heavy equipment and a fleet of air tankers and helicopters.


    Nearly 200 firefighters have been attacking three fires and will continue battling all three blazes Tuesday.


    “Every day is a new day on the fire lines ... we are hoping we can provide better news every day,” said Wayne Schnitzler, fire chief for West Kelowna Fire and Rescue.


    No more homes were destroyed Monday as firefighters dug up hot ground in 33-degree temperatures, bulldozers shored up the fire perimeters and aircraft dropped massive quantities of water and fire retardant on and around the smouldering, smoking blazes.


    Three homes, two belonging to the same family, and a trailer burned to the ground on the weekend.


    There were no new evacuations Monday.


    Initially, 11,500 people had been forced from their homes and 6,500 were on evacuation alert, ready to leave at a moment’s notice.


    West Kelowna residents Mark Conlin and Janice Syne were stranded in their bathing suits when they rushed home Saturday after seeing a “big mushroom cloud,” only to be told they couldn’t get to their house to pick up their 15-year-old son and three dogs and two cats.


    “We tried twice to get up there but for good reason we weren’t allowed because the fire was jumping the road at that point,” Conlin said.


    “We had absolutely nothing.”


    The family has since been reunited and all are safe.


    The three fires were all believed to have been caused by people, said Rob Moore of the B.C. Forest Service. The fires may have been started accidentally, he said, but RCMP will be called in if fire investigators decide they’re suspicious.


    He noted that exceptionally dry weather and high winds contributed to the fires, causing them to spread rapidly.


    Meanwhile, a fourth fire broke out around 4 p.m. Monday in the Vaseux Lake area, about 20 kilometres south of Penticton, B.C.


    It was fully contained about two hours later.


    No structures were damaged in the blaze, but the fire came within 500 metres of a power station, said deputy fire chief Dan Skaros from nearby Oliver. A campground and a trailer park were briefly put on evacuation alert, he said.


    Provincial fire information officer Jeanne Rucker said the fire consumed about 10 hectares.




    © Copyright (c) Canwest News Service
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    A friend I met at FledgeFest (went with 50 or so other people from the Hancock Wildlife nest cams/forums to watch the eagles & their babies in person) is on holidays in Vernon and her husband is a professional photographer. This is his site. AWESOME pictures of the Kelowna fire!

    http://www.aspaphoto.com & http://aspaphoto.blogspot.com/
    September 11th - Never Forget

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    And more ....

    Residents return home as fire crews battle West Kelowna blazes

    Some residents allowed to return home Tuesday morning
    By Kelly Sinoski and Rebecca TeBrake, Vancouver Sun
    July 21, 2009 2:49 PM
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    StoryPhotos ( 16 )Video ( 1 )
    More Images » A fire fighter checks for hot spots as a resident who has just returned to her house looks for damage in West Kelowna. Several thousand people were allowed back to their homes after being evacuated when wild fires swept through the area July 19.Photograph by: Reuters, Times Colonist

    WEST KELOWNA — More than half the people forced to leave their homes in West Kelowna's Glenrosa neighbourhood because of a massive forest fire on the weekend began returning home Tuesday morning but remained on evacuation alert.

    Forest fire officials lifted the evacuation order for 1,942 homes — and 6,000 people — north of Glenrosa Road and north of Powers Creek, saying there is no inflammable vegetation left to burn in the area.

    Evacuation orders are still in effect for other areas south of Highway 97 and west of Powers Creek, including properties accessed off Gellatly Road northwest of the Cove Resort. Approximately 3,500 Glenrosa residents remain evacuated. Alerts also remain in place for Rose Valley Dam and Terrace Mountain fires.

    Residents began returning home at 8 a.m. Tuesday. For most, there was a sense of relief. But for others, like Linda Shauer, the happiness at being home was shadowed by sadness for her friends whose homes were destroyed.

    "It was quite emotional because the first house that went down belonged to my friend and also my boss," she said. "We're just very thankful everyone is safe."

    Highway 97 between Kelowna and Peachland reopened at 6 a.m. Tuesday, and the Connector that links Kelowna and Merritt also reopened.

    “The alert is still in effect and it’s very obvious that there are three fires burning in our communities and the threat is still imminent,” said Rene Blanleil of the Emergency Operations Centre.

    The news comes as fire crews made significant progress, aided by low winds, heavy equipment and a fleet of air tankers and helicopters.

    The 400-hectare Glenrosa fire is now 60-per-cent contained, while the 150-hectare Rose Valley fire is now 20-per-cent contained. But the third fire, at Terrace Mountain, grew by 500 hectares on Monday alone, reaching 1,300 hectares.

    Nearly 200 firefighters have been attacking the three fires and continued battling all three blazes Tuesday.

    “Every day is a new day on the fire lines ... we are hoping we can provide better news every day,” said Wayne Schnitzler, fire chief for West Kelowna Fire and Rescue.

    Weather Tuesday was a replica of Monday with light winds, temperatures reaching mid-30s and low humidity

    No more homes were destroyed Monday as firefighters dug up hot ground in 33-degree temperatures, bulldozers shored up the fire perimeters and aircraft dropped massive quantities of water and fire retardant on and around the smouldering, smoking blazes.

    Three homes, two belonging to the same family, and a trailer burned to the ground on the weekend.

    There were no new evacuations Monday. Initially, 11,500 people had been forced from their homes and 6,500 were on evacuation alert, ready to leave at a moment’s notice.

    Additional homes on Terrace Mountain, near Fintry, were put on evacuation alert Monday.

    Glenrosa residents Mark Conlin and Janice Syne were stranded in their bathing suits when they rushed home Saturday after seeing a “big mushroom cloud,” only to be told they couldn’t get to their house to pick up their 15-year-old son and three dogs and two cats.

    “We tried twice to get up there but for good reason we weren’t allowed because the fire was jumping the road at that point,” Conlin said.

    “We had absolutely nothing.”

    The family has since been reunited and all are safe.

    The two West Kelowna fires and the third one on Terrace Mountain were all believed to have been caused by people, said Rob Moore of the B.C. Forest Service. The fires may have been started accidentally, he said, but RCMP will be called in if fire investigators decide they’re suspicious.

    He noted that exceptionally dry weather and high winds contributed to the fires, causing them to spread rapidly.

    Three homes, two belonging to members of the Gorman family, were destroyed as the Glenrosa fire sped toward the Gorman Bros. Mill. The mill had some damage but was largely intact.

    Charis Broadbent, her husband and other family members, including her parents, were enjoying the sunshine on Okanagan Lake when they heard a fire was raging near her parents’ home, where they were staying. By the time they got close, the home was gone.

    “It was just devastating,” Broadbent said. “We looked through the binoculars and saw it was on fire. ... We didn’t get a picture, we didn’t get anything.”

    Although the flames appeared to have retreated Monday, the devastation in the West Kelowna neighbourhood was still evident.

    A chimney and foundation were all that remained of one of the houses, perched above Highway 97. Surprisingly, a small blue car sat unscathed outside a burned-out garage and some larger trees around the home’s skeleton still stood.

    Fire authorities in Kelowna said they expected the fires to continue to grow over the next couple of days but were happy with their progress.

    In the Glenrosa area, fire lines — bulldozed areas where trees and undergrowth has been stripped away — ran along the steep slopes like scars. Wisps of smoke continued to rise from hot spots as fire crews hosed them down.

    The trees on the hillsides below Goat’s Peak, a mountain ridge in West Kelowna, were charred, while the Glenrosa fire continued to burn.

    Four helicopters continue to dump water and bright blue thermal gel on the forested area to slow the fire. Fire crews were still working furiously Monday to cool the scorched earth near the destroyed homes.

    Firefighters used axes and enormous hoes to pull up the earth and then hosed it down with water.

    “This is the hardest work firefighters have to do,” said Rob Krause of the B.C. Forest Service. “They are digging hot ground in temperatures in excess of 33 degrees.”

    Moore added: “[We need] more rain than you’ll see all summer long to put something like this out naturally.”

    West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater declared a state of emergency on Sunday, giving government agencies permission to implement emergency preparedness plans.

    Meanwhile, many evacuees said they were going stir-crazy as they waited to hear about their homes and when they can return.

    Conlin and Syne managed to get the last room at the Comfort Inn after arranging for a neighbour to pick up their son and their pets. When their son arrived, they said, he brought only his own toiletries, the Xbox 360 game console and some photos.

    “He didn’t bring any clothes for himself,” Syne said. The couple were among many evacuees at Wal-Mart who were using $150 vouchers to stock up on toiletries, medication and clothes. But there were slim pickings on some items, such as bedding and underwear.

    “All the guys’ underwear was gone,” Wal-Mart employee Nicole Salvetti said. “First thing when I got in they had all the girls up there hunting for all the men’s underwear we had. ... [The shelves] were stripped bare.”

    Syne said the vouchers for food, accommodation and clothing have provided some relief, at least for a few days. Residents under evacuation orders can register for vouchers at the emergency services reception centre at Mount Boucherie senior secondary school.

    But while many people were still straggling into local hotels and motels hoping to find rooms Monday, others had set up their trailers and RVs in the parking lots of big-box stores such as Wal-Mart.

    “We’ve become Wal-Mart refugees,” said Gloria Parland, who has been living in the parking lot with her husband Leroy since Saturday night.

    Chris and Kathleen Siggs just managed to slip back to their Glenrosa home after seeing “pure black smoke” filling the sky. They had planned to stay put but when they saw smoke coming from the Rose Valley fire they feared that, with only one road out, they could be trapped.

    Chris loaded up his four dirt bikes and an all-terrain vehicle in the back of the truck, while Kathleen grabbed a bagful of clothes for herself, Chris and her youngest son. She also snatched up their two cats, some of the boys’ school photos off the wall and the PlayStation3 for her oldest son, who is away at his grandparents’ home on Vancouver Island.

    A tank of fish was left behind. “From the kitchen window I could see the fire, it looked like a glow coming up the canyon,” Kathleen Siggs said. “The three of us threw all our stuff into one bag. It was just a panic. We’re like refugees, we’re washing our feet in our friends’ sink.”

    Police have been patrolling the Glenrosa neighbourhood to protect people and private property. RCMP Cpl. Dan Moskaluk said some motorists were refusing to stop for police and were attempting to drive through roadblocks to return to evacuated areas, or get through on the closed section of Highway 97.

    Police have been issuing tickets. Police have also encountered several people remaining in the evacuated area and recorded their names.

    “We haven’t seen any blatant evidence of break and entries or mischief,” Moskaluk said. Meanwhile, the BC Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was seeking the public’s help to care for nearly 300 animals rescued from the wildfires.

    Bob Busch, general manager of operations for the BCSPCA said Kelowna shelter staff have been placing horses and livestock in facilities such as the Kelowna Riding Club and foster farms until their owners can return home.

    The Kelowna needs large pet carriers, litter trays, towels and cash donations to help with the influx of animals in temporary care, said manager Jim Inglis. “We are also in need of hay for the horses we are boarding.”

    Meanwhile, a fourth fire broke out around 4 p.m. Monday in the Vaseux Lake area, about 20 kilometres south of Penticton, It was fully contained about two hours later.

    No structures were damaged in the blaze, but the fire came within 500 metres of a power station, said deputy fire chief Dan Skaros from nearby Oliver. A campground and a trailer park were briefly put on evacuation alert, he said.

    Provincial fire information officer Jeanne Rucker said the fire consumed about 10 hectares.

    ksinoski@vancouversun.com

    rtebrake@vancouversun.com

    With Canwest News Service file



    Warning for evacuees returning home:


    Telus asks that people avoid using their cellphones unless it’s necessary, because they want to keep the cellular network open for first responders.


    Residents returning to their homes are urged to inspect their property and be aware of the following:


    · Trees that are burned that may fall without warning.

    · Dangerous structures or fire-damaged property ie: melted siding, burned landscaping.

    · Non-visible collapse risk areas such as potentially compromised septic systems.

    · Visible open holes and pits.

    · Hot or burning materials.

    · Hot ground (hot areas may exist).

    · Downed electrical wires and utility lines.

    · Hazardous materials.

    · Sharp objects.

    · Wildlife that may have been pushed out of their normal areas.


    Property owners are advised to retain the services of a certified arborist to evaluate any questionable trees on private property and to consult building professionals to assess structural hazards resulting for fire-impacted buildings. If property owners observe damage as a result of the Glenrosa forest fire should contact their insurance provider immediately.



    Related links:


    Click here to view the latest photo gallery of the fire.


    Click here to view photos sent in by Vancouver Sun readers.


    Click here to join in on real-time chatting.


    Click here for the latest fire updates.






    © Copyright (c) The Victoria Times Colonist

    E-mail this ArticlePrint this ArticleShare this Article More on This Story
    Updated Gallery: Forest fire tears through West Kelowna
    Gallery: B.C. wildfire photos from Sun readers
    Some Glenrosa residents return home after forest fire forced their evacuation
    West Kelowna family had five minutes to pack up and flee
    Fear and fascination mix for tourists near blazes
    Fire officials suspect all three fires west of Okanagan Lake caused by humans
    Kelowna fires: List of evacuation areas
    Kelowna fires: Vernon holiday resort offers evacuees free accommodation
    Kelowna fires: First evacuation alerts issued for Terrace Mountain blaze
    Twitter's tops with wildfire newsgatherers, readers
    Kelowna hotels scramble to find room for evacuees
    Kelowna workers find fires make life difficult
    Kelowna family's evacuation put on hold until steaks were done
    Fire makes West Kelowna couple Walmart refugees
    Frightened evacuees watch on as their neighbourhoods burn
    Latest B.C. Forest Fire Update from the Ministry of Forests
    Animal rescuers pull pets and livestock from homes
    British Columbians asked to donate cash, toiletries to evacuees
    BCAA Insurance information for fire evacuees
    Evacuees camping out in parking lots
    Post requests for information on family and friends.
    Hot weather, gusting winds, steep terrain hamper fire fighters
    Residents fear the worst as West Kelowna fire spreads

    http://www.timescolonist.com/news/Re...463/story.html for the above links

    http://www.timescolonist.com/news/Re...463/story.html for new photos - close ups of firefighters in action
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
    Honorary Flatlander

    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

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    Water bomber battling B.C. fires crashes into lake
    By Philip Ling, Canwest News Service
    July 25, 2009 5:33 PM
    StoryPhotos ( 1 )


    A water bomber battling the Terrace Mountain wildfire in central B.C. crashed in Okanagan Lake Saturday afternoon.


    Rick Pedersen, vice president with Conair Group, the company that operates the aircraft, said the Air Tractor AT802F Amphibious “Fire Boss” aircraft was involved in a “scooping accident” when it was taking water out of the lake at about noon local time.


    “During scooping operation, the aircraft flipped over,” Pedersen told Canwest News Service.


    The lone person on board, a male pilot, was able to escape out of the aircraft, Pedersen said. There were no reported injuries and he was taken to hospital for observation.


    “As always in these kind of accidents or incidents, we’re extremely relieved that the pilot is OK,” Pedersen said.


    Abbotsford, B.C.-based Conair Group Inc. has more than 60 aircraft specializing in aerial firefighting mainly within B.C., Alberta, Yukon and Alaska, he said.


    There were seven fixed-wing aircraft involved in fighting the Terrace Mountain fire before the accident occurred. The group of aircraft were contracted to the Province of Alberta at the time of the accident, and lent to British Columbia to assist fire crews battle the wildfire, about 30 kilometres northwest of Kelowna. The blaze is 4,500 hectares in size and is about 25 per cent contained.


    Bill Yearwood, an aviation investigator with the Transportation Safety Board in Vancouver, said a “limited investigation” involving mostly data gathering will take place. “I’m expecting that a conversation with the pilot later (Saturday) will shed most of the information we need,” he said.


    The air tractor is an aircraft that was initially designed for crop dusting, but was converted to landing on both land and water, Yearwood said.


    There are pontoons on the bottom of this amphibious aircraft, similar to a float plant, and has a mechanism to scoop water into the pontoons for fire suppression.


    “On touchdown to scoop water, the aircraft upset and it sank,” Yearwood said of the accident.


    Pedersen said in the company’s 40-year history, this type of aircraft has never been involved in an accident. “We’ve been in this business for a long time and we have well-experienced aircrew and support to provide (aerial firefighting) services.”

    © Copyright (c) Canwest News Service
    A water bomber battling the Terrace Mountain wildfire in central B.C. crashed in Okanagan Lake Saturday, July 25, 2009.

    Photograph by: Handout, Canwest News Service
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
    Honorary Flatlander

    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

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