An emergency reception centre has been activated in Penticton amid the slew of wildfire evacuation orders issued in the South Okanagan on Friday morning, Aug. 18.
Evacuees impacted by the wildfires near Keremeos and Twin Lakes can access support at the centre, located at 199 Ellis Street.
Volunteers from Penticton’s Emergency Support Services team are currently accommodating those impacted by the Crater Creek wildfire, located south of Keremeos, and the Upper Park Rill Creek wildfire, discovered early on Friday near Twin Lakes.
People needing immediate support must register at the centre in person, the city’s ESS team said.
“The Penticton Fire Department is providing support as needed to other local agencies while maintaining resources to ensure needed protection levels for Penticton,” reads a statement from the city.
The Upper Park Rill Creek wildfire is now more than 100 hectares in size and rapidly growing, with the community of Willowbrook now on evacuation order as a result of the blaze.
Evacuation alerts for 189 properties have been issued within the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen for the 22,000-hectare Crater Creek wildfire. 19 properties under evacuation order.
The RDOS also on Friday urged people to stay off the lakes and not interfere with wildfire crews accessing water to fight the regional blazes.
“Watercraft and drones can create serious safety issues from helicopters and planes accessing water from lakes.”