UPDATE: 6:24 p.m.
Westside Road has reopened to traffic as fire crews continue to clean up the scene of a new wildfire, which broke out in the West Kelowna area on Tuesday.
According to DriveBC, the two lanes of Westside Road from Lindley Drive to Traders Cove Road are now clear.
The Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Center said Tuesday evening that all tactical evacuation orders had been lifted for properties in Sail View Bay and along Bear Creek Road, north of Parkinson Road.
The blaze started Tuesday afternoon when a tree fell on a power line in an area east of Rose Valley Reservoir.
BC Wildfire Service estimates the fire to be approximately three hectares.
“Municipal and BC Wildfire Service teams will continue their efforts to mop up the fire,” the Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Center said in a statement.
“For public safety reasons, residents and visitors should stay a safe distance from the fire and all emergency response activities, which will continue in the area until Tuesday evening. “
UPDATE 4:24 p.m.
The Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Center lifted part of the tactical evacuation order for Sail View Bay, but it remains in effect for all properties along Bear Creek Road, north of Parkinson Road, as municipal and BC Wildfire Service crews continue their efforts to extinguish a fire. east of Rose Valley Reservoir.
BCWS estimates the size of the forest fire at three hectares.
Westside Road is reopened to alternating single lane traffic. Please obey road crews and maintain safe speeds in the area. Motorists should not stop along Westside Road to observe or take photos of the wildfire and to allow crews to do their jobs safely.
The Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Center remains on to help teams from West Kelowna, Kelowna, Wilson’s Landing and BC Wildfire Service fight the wildfires.
For public safety reasons, residents and visitors should stay a safe distance from fire and all emergency response activities in the area.
UPDATE 4:10 p.m.
Westside Road has partially reopened around the scene of Tuesday’s wildfire near Bear Creek Road.
According to DriveBC, the road has reopened to alternating single-lane traffic.
UPDATE 3 p.m.
Tuesday’s wildfire near Westside Road north of Sail View Bay was started by a downed power line.
West Kelowna Fire Chief Jason Brolund confirmed the fire started after a tree fell on a power line.
The resulting fire resulted in the closure of Westside Road in both directions and the tactical evacuation of a few hundred people just off Bear Creek Road.
“The fire looks pretty good right now,” Brolund says.
“We continue to bypass the fire, building a firewall and making sure we have a water line around it. “
Brolund expects work to be completed later this afternoon, by which time they can consider lifting the tactical evacuation order and reopening the road.
“We ask for their patience, and we will get them back shortly. “
The West Kelowna Fire Department is assisted by crews from Wilson’s Landing, Kelowna and the BC Wildfire Service.
UPDATE 2:25 p.m.
The backlog of traffic north of the fire on Westside Road was escorted by RCMP after the fire.
The blaze is still smoldering and it is not yet clear whether the road will be reopened anytime soon, or if police were only letting vehicles stuck north of the blaze out. Westside Road is also closed north of La Casa due to the White Rock Lake wildfire.
UPDATE 1:40 p.m.
Emergency operations in the central Okanagan indicate that all residents located on Bear Creek Road, north of Parkinson Road, including the Sail View Bay subdivision, have been advised to evacuate tactically due to the fire.
Westside Road remains closed in both directions near where the fire started.
The BC Wildfire Service says the fire is estimated at three hectares.
UPDATE 1:25 p.m.
The blaze appears to have started when power lines along Westside Road were hit by a fallen tree.
Castanet has contacted BC Hydro for comment.
Crews are working on power lines on the side of Westside Road where the fire started.
The fire is still burning although the smoke has subsided considerably. The crews seem to be mastering it gradually.
The fire is burning between Westside Road and Bear Creek Road, allowing firefighters to access the blaze from both sides.
Two helicopters also hit the fire from the sky, helping the crews contain it.
Fire activity appears to have declined considerably since the arrival of firefighters.
BC Hydro reports that electricity is cut in the neighborhoods surrounding the fire.
The cause of the blackout, which affected 290 homes, is listed as a tree descending through wires.
It is not yet confirmed whether the tree hitting power lines is the cause of the wildfire.
People vacationing along Okanagan Lake, just south of Bear Creek Provincial Park, have been placed on evacuation alert due to a wildfire in the area.
Sabina Martz, who is among those on vacation, told Castanet News that she had just returned from a visit to the kangaroo farm when they encountered the fire.
“We got home, threw our clothes in a suitcase and are ready to go anytime – very nervous,” she said.
“We were told we were on high alert but not yet on an evacuation order. We have neither water nor electricity in the house. We think we have to go. “
BC Wildfire Service helicopters are on site.
Emergency crews closed Westside Road about 800 blocks away.
The fire is burning the hillside and away from homes, although some residents very close to the blaze have been tactically evacuated.
BC Wildfire Service air support is called in.
Another fire broke out on Westside Road.
The fire appears to be burning just off the road south of Bear Creek Provincial Park.
The fire is visible from downtown Kelowna.
Castanet has reporters on the way to the stage and will update.
Photo : Jordan Neufeld