Update: Highway 33 back open

With Highway 33 closed in both directions, evacuation orders have been lifted for some

Update: 3:12 p.m.

Highway 33 is now open to two-lane traffic through the Philpott Road Fire zone with a modified speed limit signage.

The road had been closed temporarily between Schram Road and Cardinal Creek Road to ensure the safe movement of emergency personnel and equipment.

There is still an evacuation order for 88 properties in Joe Rich while another estimated 386 properties are on Evacuation Alert.

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Update: 1:37 p.m.

The Evacuation Order for the Philpott Road Fire has been partially rescinded, allowing approximately 186 Joe Rich residents from 81 properties to return home. These properties are now on Evacuation Alert and residents should be prepared to leave their homes on short notice if circumstances change.

The following properties are removed from the Evacuation Order and are now on Evacuation Alert:

8520 – 8600 Highway 33 E

11575 – 11583 Highway 33 E

11601 – 12369 Highway 33 E

1809 – 1898 Cardinal Creek Road

2160 – 2270 Dion Road

11607 – 11623 Greystokes Road

11731 – 11749 Greystokes Road

11863 – 11875 Greystokes Road

11979 – 11989 Greystokes Road

8130 – 8514 Sun Valley Road

11505 – 12751 Three Forks Road

Approximately 88 properties, impacting 202 residents, remain on Evacuation Order. To view a detailed map showing properties that are on Order and Alert, please visit www.cordemergency.ca/map.

Highway 33 is now closed in both directions between Schram Road and Cardinal Creek Road to ensure the safe movement of emergency personnel and equipment. The road will be reopened when it is safe to do so. Motorists are advised to use McCulloch Road as a detour.

BC Wildfire Service will have 95 personnel working on the Philpott Road Fire today with 15 pieces of heavy equipment. Additionally, four helicopters will be working to suppress the fire. Also working on the fire today will be 49 structural firefighters, employing 16 pieces of equipment, from Big White, Ellison, Joe Rich, Kelowna, Lumby, Naramata, North Westside, West Kelowna and Wilson’s Landing Fire Departments.

The weather forecast for today calls for increasing wind activity, possibly gusting to 40 km/hr this afternoon which may make fire suppression challenging.

Residents returning home can bring household pets, like cats and dogs, with them. Other animals are not allowed back in at this time due to the uncertainty about fire behaviour and the potential for reinstating Evacuation Orders if necessary.

The Emergency Support Services reception centre at Willow Park Church, 439 Highway 33 West in Kelowna, will be open from 4 to 6 p.m. today.

Original:

Highway 33 has been closed in both directions.

DriveBC listed the route up to Big White as closed just before noon on Tuesday, noting an update would be available at 2 p.m.

The closure is between Schram Road and Cardinal Creek Road, reads the DriveBC announcement, adding that the evacuation order is still in place for some properties along the stretch.

The BC Wildfire Service estimates the fire is 460-hectares in size with 20 per cent containment.

Approximately 380 residents from 160 properties remain out of their homes. When it is safe, adjustments will be made to the Evacuation Order.

About 120 residents from 52 properties were allowed to return home earlier today.

With the partial rescind of the Evacuation Order late this morning and yesterday, approximately 720 residents are on Evacuation Alert and should be prepared to leave their homes again on short notice, if fire conditions change.