(as of 2:40 p.m.)
The City of Vernon continues to monitor the White Rock Lake wildfire that is burning west of Okanagan Lake.
BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) estimates the fire is approximately 80,745 hectares in size and it remains classified as out of control. According to the BCWS Wildfires of Note information, suppression efforts continue to be focused on impacted interface areas along the eastern flank where severe drought conditions persist.
Earlier today, BCWS announced it is preparing to conduct a large-scale planned ignition operation on the northeast flank of the White Rock Lake wildfire. The exact timing of the ignition will depend on weather and site conditions, but could begin as early as Wednesday, August 25. Significant planning, forecasting, and data analysis has been completed and will continue to be assessed prior to the ignition operation.
The planned ignition area is upwards of 3,000 hectares in size. During the ignition operations, significant amounts of smoke will be visible from nearby communities, including Vernon. The ignitions will only occur under very specific site conditions and further updates will be provided by BCWS prior to commencement.
You can view the BCWS interactive wildfire map here.
Evacuation ALERT information
An Evacuation ALERT remains in place for the following areas of Vernon (see map below):
- Canadian Lakeview Estates
- Adventure Bay
- Tronson Road between 8125 to 9280
The City of Vernon Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) remains in close and regular contact with BCWS and is monitoring weather and fire conditions daily. Following an assessment by Fire Rescue Services of the fire site and fuel load in the area, the Alert remains in place for the safety of residents.
“Over the last few days we have experienced some reprieve with cooler weather and small amounts of precipitation,” said Fire Chief David Lind. “This has been a positive trend and each day that we experience cooler weather, the level of risk is further reduced as firefighters are able to continue suppression efforts. However, the level of risk that we see today still warrants the continuation of the Alert.”
“We continue to urge residents to remain vigilant and be prepared to implement your household’s emergency plan if necessary. The most important thing all of us can do at this time is be prepared.”
Vernon ESS Reception Centre information
The City of Vernon ESS Reception Centre continues to receive and assist evacuees from neighbouring communities who have been displaced due to the White Rock Lake wildfire.
The Reception Centre is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, until further notice, at the Dogwood Gym in the Vernon Recreation Centre (3409 35th Avenue).
Following the August 20th announcement of the expanded Health Orders for the entirety of the Interior Health (IH) region, the City would like to confirm that all necessary COVID safety protocols are in place at the Reception Centre. If anyone is experiencing COVID symptoms or has been asked to self-isolate and needs to access Emergency Support Services, please call 811 immediately to speak with a healthcare professional for recommendations. Once you are ready to continue with an ESS request, please call 250-550-7850.
Further, for those attending the Reception Centre, please note:
- All evacuees should register online with ESS Evacuee Registration & Assistance (ERA) even if you do not require referrals such as housing or other services: ess.gov.bc.ca.
- Commercial accommodations in Vernon are extremely limited at this time. Please make arrangements to stay with family or friends, if possible.
Receive updates from the City of Vernon:
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Stay informed on the latest wildfire information and evacuation notices across the North Okanagan:
- 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
- Township of Spallumcheen: spallumcheentwp.bc.ca
- City of Armstrong: cityofarmstrong.bc.ca
- EmergencyMapBC: https://www.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=950b4eec577a4dc5b298a61adab41c06