(as of Aug 6, @ 4:06pm)
The City of Vernon is issuing an Evacuation Alert for areas within the City, northeast of Okanagan Lake.
The City of Vernon is closely monitoring the situation and has issued the Evacuation Alert advising residents in the Canadian Lake View Estates, Adventure Bay, Tronson Road, Rise, Turtle Mountain and Blue Jay communities to be on heightened alert and prepare for the possibility of evacuation.
Residents in the identified areas are being asked to prepare for an immediate evacuation should an Evacuation Order be issued. That includes arranging accommodations prior to an Evacuation Order. Hooking up all recreational vehicles and trailers before an Evacuation Order is issued, and having an evacuation plan in place and communicating that plan with people living in the residents and neighbours.
The BC Wildfire Service is warning that the White Rock Lake wildfire (#K61884) is displaying increasingly aggressive fire behaviour, which may result in ember showers that could results in spot fires.
"Large fires like the White Rock Lake wildfire often create their own weather patterns. Sometimes with that comes an increase in debris being cast across a significant distance. Sometimes that debris can be large enough and hot enough to create an ember fire," said Fire Chief David Lind.
The City of Vernon and BC Wildfire Service will continue to monitor the White Rock Lake wildfire. Fire crews are also keeping a very close eye on possible ember fires in the identified areas, with a specific focus on Tronson Road, Adventure Bay, and Canadian Lake View Estates due to weather projections.
Residents should be advised Vernon Fire Rescue Services will be strategically stationed along Tronson Road in the event of spot fires. Crews will be positioned along Tronson Road and circulating through Adventure Bay and Canadian Lakeview Estates throughout the afternoon and evening of August 6, 2021.
"We ask that all residents maintain a heightened awareness of the evolving situation over the next 24 hours, watch for spot fire caused by embers—and should be prepared in advance for a potential Evacuation Order."
Furthermore, residents can take the proper steps to help mitigate the risk of ember fires starting on a property or near a home. Keep a garden hose ready.
These steps are important and if not done so yet, should be acted upon immediately.
- Start by removing branches, leaves, pine needles, and other combustible materials from your roof, gutters, balconies, doorways, windowsills, etc., paying particular attention to corners or other tight spots where debris tends to gather
- Clear all combustible plants (potted or hanging), leaves, weeds, etc. from within 10 metres of your home
- Remove all flammable furniture, toys, decorations, plants, etc. from your deck, applying the same 10-metre standard or moving them inside the house or garage. If your deck has a crawlspace beneath it, clear combustibles from there, too
- Mow any grass within the same 10-metre distance, preferably to a length of 10 centimetres or less
- Create a 1.5-metre non-combustible zone around the entire structure by raking and/or sweeping down to mineral soil, rock, or concrete
- Any moveable propane tanks should be kept at least 10 metres from your home. For stationary models, be sure to remove any leaves or other combustible materials from around the tank
- Any motor vehicles (cars, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, campers etc.) should be parked inside the garage or at least 10 metres from the house
- If the property has a combustible fence attached to the home, secure the gate in an open position and clear away any vegetation or other flammable material from both sides of the fence
- Check all exterior vents to make sure they are properly screened and in good condition. Cover up any damaged or questionable vents with duct tape or metal tape
- The 10-metre rule also applies to woodpiles, but since moving larger ones can take hours, you may want to save this step for last
- Most of these measures also can be applied to sheds, detached garages, or other outbuildings, as well as places of business
- Fill large containers of water like garbage cans or water barrels and place them at the edge of your property along with buckets, shovels and rakes.
The City of Vernon is also asking residents to check on neighbours and work together as communities. It is suggested that people with transportation issues or who face barriers to mobility and movement be alerted and a plan developed for their evacuation. These individual should consider evacuating before the event of an Evacuation Order.
Everyone is encouraged to remain vigilant and practice safe behaviours when spending time outdoors.
To report a fire within the municipal boundary, call 911 immediately. To report a wildfire, call the BC Wildfire Service at 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.
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Stay informed on the latest wildfire information and evacuation notices in the North Okanagan and across BC by visiting accurate and reliable information sources:
- City of Vernon: https://www.vernon.ca
- BC Wildfire Service: bcwildfire.ca
- BC Wildfire Service updates on White Rock Lake fire: http://bcfireinfo.for.gov.bc.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/OneFire.asp?ID=855
- Regional District of North Okanagan: rdno.ca
- Okanagan Indian Band: okib.ca