Evacuation alerts and state of emergency rescinded on White Rock Lake wildfire

white rock lake wildfire

The Regional District of Central Okanagan has rescinded the remaining Evacuation Alerts for the White Rock Lake wildfire, as well as the State of Local Emergency which has been in effect since July 30, 2021.

With the removal of the final Evacuation Alert order, for 1,316 properties on Bouleau Lake Road and in Estamont, Ewings Landing, Killiney Beach and Westshore Estates, there are no more evacuation orders or alerts in place within the Central Okanagan.

The only Local State of Emergency which lasted longer was for flood response and recovery in 2017.

 “Our hearts go out to the North Westside communities as they begin the road to recovery from the longest wildfire-related evacuation in our regional district’s history,” says Regional District of Central Okanagan Chair Gail Given. “We know what a trying and emotional summer this has been for property owners, and we will work with them and the various service providers, provincial ministries, utilities and other agencies in the days and weeks ahead to restore the community.”

The Regional District of Central Okanagan has provided information and resources on recovering after a wildfire, including the Returning Home Information Guide, which are available online at www.rdco.com/recovery. Starting today, Sept. 7, Central Okanagan residents, whose properties experienced significant structural damage, can contact the Regional District’s Recovery Office at recovery@rdco.com or 250-469-6111.

“The people in this area are amazing and they have again showed me how resilient they are as we first faced a frightening threat, and now face a long recovery,” said Wayne Carson, Director with the Regional District of Central Okanagan. “It has been a very difficult summer, but I know we will rebuild, because I know my friends and neighbours. We’ll get through this together.”

For residents who currently have a Do Not Consume Notice on the Killiney Water System, a self-serve water filling station has been set up at the corner of Westside and Firwood Roads. This water is from the Upper Fintry Water System which remains under a water quality advisory.

Property owners should work with their insurers to resolve remaining hazards and begin the recovery, mitigation and rebuilding process for private structures and properties.

For fridge and freezer collection, call 1-855-238-9350 to schedule a curbside pick-up. Do not put fridges or freezers outside until just before your collection time to avoid attracting wildlife. Residents should confirm with their insurer before disposing of fridges or freezers because once collected, they cannot be returned. Curbside pick-up of ruined fridges and freezers will be available until Sept. 14.

Residents who require extra help with clean up can contact Samaritan’s Purse, which has set up a mobile base camp at Vernon Alliance Church. Homeowners who need support with hazard tree or fridge/freezer removal or sifting efforts. Homeowners can call 1-866-628-6565.

The North Westside Transfer Station will be open daily from 8 a.m. to noon. Wildfire-affected properties can bring unlimited household waste, until further notice. The North Westside Transfer Station can receive bagged garbage and non-burnt yard waste. Hazardous materials, wildfire demolition waste, building materials, furniture and large appliances, and burnt vehicles cannot be accepted. For a detailed disposal guide on how to manage your cleanup efforts visit www.rdco.com/recovery.

Normal rates, hours and site rules remain in place for the Westside Residential Disposal and Recycling Centre at 2640 Asquith Road in West Kelowna. For more information, visit www.rdco.com/recycle.

Emergency Support Services at 1480 Sutherland Avenue is open Tuesday, Sept. 7 from noon to 4 p.m. Evacuated residents requiring support can call 250-469-8512. Leave a message after hours.

Westside Road is reopened to the public but some roads within the fire zone may be closed with only local traffic allowed through. The public is asked to respect homeowners’ privacy and avoid fire impacted areas as recovery is underway.

The Rapid Assessment Team has inspected more than 340 structures for occupancy suitability and placed placards on those that they have assessed: green – minor to no fire damage, orange – restricted use, and red – unsafe. Please follow the notes that the assessors have provided on the signs.

Residents with animals in the care of ALERT, call 250-809-7152 or CDART at 250-809-9589 to arrange pick-up.

BC Wildfire Service says an Area Restriction is in effect for all Crown land in the vicinity of the White Rock Lake Wildfire. Hunting and other activities in the backcountry are prohibited for the safety and security of wildland firefighters, and the general public. Find details and a map on the BC Wildfire Service website. Hazards within the area include ash pits, falling trees and rocks, unstable slopes and burnt over roads. Conservation officers will issue fines to anyone found ignoring the restrictions.