Archives for August 15, 2015
About 260 residents who were ordered to leave Friday because of the Wilson Mountain (Oliver N.) fire were allowed to go home Saturday.
An evacuation order for another 100 residents, however, remains in effect due to the Testalinda Creek Oliver S.) fire.
“The fire activity out there this morning has been quite a bit milder than what we were seeing last night,” said Kevin Skrepnek, chief fire information officer for the B.C. Wildfire Service, who said multiple structures in the area have been burned.
“Certainly, there’s still a lot of work to do out there. The fire at this point is zero per cent contained, but we’re not seeing that incredibly aggressive wind event that came through the area yesterday,” he added.
Reliably informed – residents from 260 homes allow to return to their houses
“It’s appearing to be safe for people — those residents — at this time to go back,” said Mark Pendergraft, chair of the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.
“This is a big hit to a community like this … it pretty much affects everyone.” says Mayor Ron Hovanes
However, officials also said residents should be ready to leave again at a moment’s notice until the blaze is contained.
◾Wilson Mountain (Oliver N.) Fire Evacuation Order REMOVED but homes remain in Evacuation Alert. Oliver N. – residents can return but continue on an alert.
This fire 317 ha
◾Testalinda Creek (Oliver S.) Fire Evacuation Order Remains in effect. (picture above)
1566 hectares – Residents from 100 homes affected by the evacuation order
ODN talked to 52 year Steve Maitland late today. He and his partner had rented a two level mobile home on the property of Wally Yahnke.
Yahnke, 84, lives 200 feet away in a unique underground cave-like structure according to Maitland.
Maitland works as a tiler in Alberta and will have to return to job Monday and is uncertain about his future.
He and his partner says they have lost everything. They had a dog and cat – both survive even tho the cat escaped but found later a bit worse for wear.
Maitland said he was disappointed that firefighters could not attack the fire and save the buildings but he understands that with the strong winds – the situation was dicey and firefighters told to get out and get everyone out of the area.
Yahnke owns a lot of property south of the Wilson Rd. and there are several other trailers that might be able to fixed up. The landlord is promising to rebuild. Time will tell.
I didn’t hear the good news, in fact the first two speakers seemed ill advised as to the details of how well the fire has been handled and the losses incurred.
360 homes in the Oliver/Wilson Mt./Testalinden area under evacuation notice. Not sure if this means another night away from home. (See latest on evacuation orders). Number of homes covered by the remaining order(s) not known.
Fire crews have been patrolling the fire area in Oliver with helicopters hired by the provincial government scooping water out of Tucelnuit Lake and hitting hot spots, trees on fire and near homes in the Patten/Wilson Rd area. Larger units are working the Testalinda/Kobau fire that is all the smoke south of Road 13. No known structure damage reported on the Oliver S. fire.
Once again provincial fire officials says Zero % containment is NOT positive news locals were hope to hear.
Any homes lost?- one – in a remote area of Wilson-Patten Rd – crews could not save it and little is known about it.
Any other homes damaged or lost in Testalinda area or Downtown Oliver – NO
Fire lines maintained to save lives and homes.
State of Emergency – direct question to Chief Skaros – Were you consulted on this? NO
Are you happy with the handling by the RDOS on evacuation notice and services – so far – YES
(360 homes evacuated – no change on that status at 2:30pm)
Please note the following:
Brother’s home on Wilson Mtn Rd. is lost along with others in the area… Good hard work by firefighters prevented loss of homes in Oliver….
My brother’s house that he was renting was on Wilson Mountain Rd. He, his girlfriend, dog and cat were in the house when the fire started nearby. Power went dim and then out. They just had time to get out and watched as the area went up. Fire Department ordered everyone out. The cat ran from truck but was recovered today, blackened and traumatized. House, camping trailer and boat were completely lost. I can’t say for sure but he told me other homes in that area were surely lost too. My brother said had the fire started in the middle of the night, they may not have made it out, due to the speed of the blaze. No insurance on content of house and they stayed at a motel last night. My brother and his girlfriend were both working in Calgary and came home for the weekend. They are contemplating simply going back and maybe just staying there. Our family and friends are going to see what we can do to help.
I simply wanted to let readers know that there had indeed been structures lost on top of the mountain area. Sorry for any confusion. Keep up the good work. I have been following all stories and found OliverDailyNews.com best source for this disaster.
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August 15, 2015
Testalinden Creek and Wilsons Mountain Fires
08:45 August 15th, 2015
The RDOS Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has been activated to support 2 new fires burning in the South Okanagan. Both fire have been moving rapidly as a result of significant winds and have resulted in evacuation orders in two locations.
1. Wilsons Mountain Fire
• Started at the south side of Wilson Mountain Road and travelled threatening the Town of Oliver
No mention of HOME destroyed
• 260 homes evacuated
2. Testalinda Fire
• Started at Testalinda Creek travelled south adjacent to valley bottom and higher elevation to Kilpoola Estates at Richter Pass
• 1 home burned ?
• 100 homes evacuated
An Emergency Social Services reception centre have been activated the Oliver Community Centre at 6359 Park Drive. Residents are asked to check in when they arrive. To register by phone please call 250-498-4985.
Information will be posted and updated regularly at: http://www.rdos.bc.ca/news-events/eoc/current-eoc/
*** Please note Osoyoos EOC center closed
The RDOS is assessing the situation to see where and how the evacuation order can be adjusted.
At this time the evacuation order from last night is in effect.
Please visit our website for more information as it develops: http://www.rdos.bc.ca/news-events/eoc/current-eoc/
RDOS Solid Waste Management Coordinator
101 Martin Street, Penticton
Evacuation orders for the Testalinda Creek Fire near Oliver and Osoyoos have been issued
for the following properties:
• Properties along 103 Street to Kruger Mountain Rd (Kilpoola)
• Properties along 146 Ave
• Properties along 194 Ave
• Properties along Alkali Road
• Properties along Fruitvale Way
• Properties along Goldenmile Drive
• Properties along Highway 3 from the Vineyard Rd junction to Kobau Look-Out Forest
Service Road (Spotted Lake area)
• Properties along the west side of Highway 97 between 168 Ave and Road 14
• Properties along Kruger Mountain Road
• Properties along Old Richter Pass Road
• Properties along Road 16 west of Highway 97
• Properties along Road 17 west of Highway 97
• Properties along Road 18 west of Highway 97
• Properties along Testalinden Place
Ministry of Forest crews – worked the night – watching helicopters mopping up – well deserved rest.
Road barriers down and people and cars seen at home in evacuated areas in town an on Wilson/Patten Rd.
Helicoters dealing with hot spots not threats. Ground crews not visible at the moment.
RDOS state 360 Oliver homes evacuated. But…..
Yesterday and today – fire officials talking about a “structure” lost
The fire on Wilson Mountain (Patten-Wilson Rds) off Willowbrook Rd started quickly – cause unknown
This picture taken by Mal Bearman near Arbor Crest clearly show a large home fully involved. Most likely burning to the ground
No official statement from RCMP or Oliver Fire Department on the cause of this fire
The fire to the south at Testalinda/Kobau thought to be a lightning strike but it too spread very quickly because of the strong winds. Being fought with water bomber. Limited details. EOC command centre closed down – so that would mean evacuation orders have been lifted in the Hwy 3/Kipoola areas.
The Testalinden fire forced the abandonment of the Mount Kobau Star Party which was due to end Sunday morning, below is an email from the organisers of the event, the first time in 31 years that they have had to leave the mountain early.
“A fire broke out on Mt Kobau today at around 6 pm. It quickly became a rank 5 fire covering 450 hectares. We evacuated the top of the mountain and got everyone off safely. I’d like to thank everyone who were on the mountain for their quick response to evacuate, help each other to pack up and get down the mountain just in time.” Colleen
Today, the sunshine, the blue sky – the smoke is gone (mostly)
No on injured, no homes damaged (that we know of)
Wind damage yes.
We are so lucky
Over 200 homes evacuated according to the RDOS – I would speculate that order will or has been rescinded ONCE an assessment is done early this morning. (I have been wrong before)
Picture of Oliver Mountain at 6:30 am (Fire One)
Picture of Road 13 Winery at 6:15 am (Fire Two)