Okanagan Indian Band initiates evacuation after planned ignition

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The Okanagan Indian Band ordered the evacuation of more than 100 properties within its boundaries on Tuesday afternoon because of the nearby White Rock Lake Wildfire.

In a notice posted to its website, the band said local members of the RCMP, search and rescue and other applicable agencies were assisting with the evacuation, seemingly precautionary in nature and prompted by a planned ignition.

“That was their own decision to initiate that evacuation today,” said BC Wildfire information officer Shannon Street.

“We have been planning for the next few days — on the northeast side of the fire perimeter, from Westside Road to Irish creek — to do some planned ignitions.”

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Street said crews started with a small ignition on Tuesday.

“We initially planned to do 3,000 hectares and today we went with 150 hectares,” said Street. “When that got going and was putting up smoke, the OKIB chose to do the evacuation change. It wasn’t an imminent threat.”

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OKIB says evacuees can register at the Shubert Centre at 3505 30th Ave., if they need immediate help or they can call 250-241-5801 if they need a place to stay.

Click to play video: 'Fire starts along Westside Road in West Kelowna'

Fire starts along Westside Road in West Kelowna

Fire starts along Westside Road in West Kelowna

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