Evacuation orders and alerts have been lifted for all but one property in West Kelowna, B.C., about five weeks after thousands were chased out by a fast-moving wildfire.
Central Okanagan Emergency Operations says BC Wildfire Service crews are now patrolling the fire’s edge, working to extinguish any remaining hot spots, but warn nearby communities can expect to see smoke within the perimeter in the coming weeks.
The 139-square-kilometre McDougall Creek fire swept down on West Kelowna on the evening of Aug. 17, engulfing residential streets that were evacuated with little time to spare.
A provincewide state of emergency was declared the next day, as the same winds that fuelled the McDougall Creek blaze fanned fires in the Shuswap region.
About half of the 400 structures or homes destroyed in B.C.’s record-breaking fire season have been lost in the Kelowna area.
The operations centre also announced it is rescinding evacuation alerts and downgrading evacuation orders for the nearby 11-square-kilometre Glen Lake wildfire west of Peachland.
The Thompson-Nicola Regional District Emergency Operations Centre has also announced it has rescinded all 124 remaining evacuation alerts in the vicinity of the 456-square-kilometre Bush Creek East wildfire, which destroyed almost 200 structures.