Wildfire burning on a hill south of Vernon near Highway 97 threatens homes.
The fire, which broke out sometime on Friday evening (July 9th), closed the freeway in both directions on College Way near Coldstream, according to Drive BC. Traffic will be diverted via Commonage Road.
# BCHwy97 Closed for wildfire on College Way in #VernonBC. Evaluation in progress. Expect delays. https://t.co/2ou6q0fOaX #ColdstreamBC
– DriveBC (@DriveBC) July 10, 2021
Kalview Trailer Park resident Keli Westgate did not wait for an official evacuation order.
“There are three of us and the family is safe and sound,” Westgate said on Friday at 11:35 pm. The family was enjoying a quiet evening at home when their phone rang at around 10 p.m.
“We had no idea (about the fire),” she said. “A friend called and asked, ‘Are you okay?’ Then I looked out the window and saw the fire. Our car was already packed. “
Vernon City Communications Manager Christy Poirier said at 12:10 p.m. on Saturday, July 10th, Vernon Fire Rescue is responding to the major forest fire in collaboration with several regional fire departments and the BC Wildfire Service.
RCMP and BC Ambulance Service are also on site. RCMP is currently tactically evacuating homes along Clerke Road in the Coldstream District.
District captain Trevor Seibel said the community was currently working on setting up an emergency call center.
Coldstream is assisted by the City of Vernon and the North Okanagan Regional Unit in fighting fires.
There’s more to come.
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BC forest fires 2021