Residents of Peachland in B.C.’s Okanagan region are on high alert as the Glen Lake wildfire continues to grow out of control. The human-caused fire, which started on Saturday evening, is now just eight kilometers away from the district. The Central Okanagan Emergency Operations has issued an evacuation alert for much of Peachland, urging residents to be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice.
The wildfire has rapidly expanded, going from 100 hectares on Sunday to 650 hectares by Monday afternoon. The BC Wildfire Service has identified wind as the primary factor fueling the fire. Despite hopes for calmer winds, they have not subsided as anticipated. However, there is some relief in the forecast, with cooler temperatures and calmer wind expected for the rest of the week.
To ensure the safety of residents and critical infrastructure, Peachland’s mayor, Patrick Van Minsel, has advised people to stay calm and obtain information directly from emergency operations. He also urged residents to prepare a grab and go bag as a precautionary measure.
Some residents have already chosen to evacuate voluntarily due to the worsening conditions. Ash has been falling from the sky, making it difficult to breathe. Former MLA Judi Tyabji, who currently resides in the Peachland area, described the smoke as resembling a volcanic eruption.
This year’s wildfire season in B.C. has been the most severe in history, prompting calls from Peachland’s mayor, as well as other municipal councils in the Okanagan, for better preparation and resources. Discussions and proposals are being presented at the Union of BC Municipalities conference in Vancouver to address the growing concern about wildfires and mitigate future risks.
– CBC News: Wildfire prompts evacuation alert for much of Peachland, B.C.
– BC Wildfire Service