Okanagan wildfire in Kaleden, B.C., forcing dozens of evacuations

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A fire in the Okanagan community of Kaleden is threatening structures and forcing the evacuation of over 30 homes.

It broke out on Tuesday afternoon in the southeast area of the town, near Ponderosa Point.

It is approximately 5.5 hectares in size and is not contained, according to the B.C. Wildfire Service.

Mark Woods with the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen said at least 30 homes have been evacuated and around 50 are likely to be evacuated in total.

He said he has heard no reports of any injuries yet.

Fire

The fire in Kaleden, B.C. could be seen from the beach adjacent to Ponderosa Point. (Michael Vaters)

“There are structures that are threatened … it started quite quickly this afternoon,” said Max Birkner, fire information officer with the Kamloops Fire Centre.

He said that with the fire danger rating high throughout the province, the public needs to be extra cautious.

“What we’re really asking people is to be seriously vigilant … the last thing we need is multiple fires to occur due to people not being careful enough.”

Emergency centre set up

Penticton RCMP, the Kaleden fire department and the B.C. Wildfire Service are all on scene, and the Wildfire Service has 30 firefighters and five aircraft on scene.

Crews couldn’t immediately say what caused the fire or whether it had destroyed any homes. Fortis B.C. says there are around 170 homes without power in the area.

An emergency centre has been set up by Emergency Social Services for evacuees at the Penticton Community Centre at 325 Power Street. Anyone who needs to register can phone 250-809-6561.

With files from Angela Sterritt

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Okanagan wildfire in Kaleden, B.C., forcing dozens of evacuations

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