Wildfire evacuees are camped out at Armstrong's IPE grounds. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

North Okanagan attractions housing wildfire evacuees

People, animals checking into IPE Grounds in Armstrong, Historic O’Keefe Ranch in Spallumcheen

Evacuees from the White Rock Lake Wildfire near Westwold are setting up camp at a pair of North Okanagan attractions.

The City of Armstrong and Township of Spallumcheen have mobilized campsites and livestock facilities at the Interior Provincial Exhibition Grounds in Armstrong, as has the Historic O’Keefe Ranch in Spallumcheen.

“We have about 17 families at the IPE,” said Warren Smith, City of Armstrong community services manager, Thursday morning, Aug. 5. “As for animals, that’s undetermined at this point in time as we are expecting a bunch more coming in.”

Residents evacuated from Okanagan Indian Band land, Westwold, and Falkland have registered to camp at the IPE. Same goes for the O’Keefe Ranch.

“I left the ranch at 2 a.m. but I understand people started calling and showing up at 5 a.m. (Thursday),” said ranch manager Sherilee Franks.

The ranch has been inundated with donations of materials such as fencing and chicken wire to help accommodated evacuated animals.

The North Okanagan Therapeutic Riding Association, which operates at O’Keefe Ranch, is nearing capacity for housing animal evacuees, said NOTRA director Alycia Butler. She suggests people check out the IPE.

O’Keefe Ranch posted on its Facebook page they are looking for hay for evacuated horses coming from Falkland. Please call Tambria at 250-549-0746 if you are able to assist.

If evacuees are wanting to come to Armstrong or O’Keefe Ranch, they are asked to register with their local reception centre, or online at www.ess.gov.bc.ca.

For more information on the evacuation orders, please contact your Regional District or First Nations Band office directly.

For more information on this fire and other fires in BC please go to www.bcwildfire.ca or call 1-888-336-7378.

READ MORE: White Rock Lake wildfire activity expected to ramp up with winds in forecast

READ MORE: Volunteers needed to help White Rock Lake wildfire evacuees at Vernon reception centre



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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B.C. Wildfires 2021

 

Goats are among the animal evacuees from the White Rock Lake Wildfire being housed temporarily at O’Keefe Ranch in Spallumcheen. (O’Keefe Ranch Facebook photo)

Goats are among the animal evacuees from the White Rock Lake Wildfire being housed temporarily at O’Keefe Ranch in Spallumcheen. (O’Keefe Ranch Facebook photo)