Regional District of Central Okanagan’s board chair and director for North Westside call Tuesday, Aug. 17, “a sad day for the community” as residents were given updates on their homes from the White Rock Lake wildfire. About 70 structures in the neighbourhoods have been lost in the inferno. (Black Press - file photo)

Regional District of Central Okanagan’s board chair and director for North Westside call Tuesday, Aug. 17, “a sad day for the community” as residents were given updates on their homes from the White Rock Lake wildfire. About 70 structures in the neighbourhoods have been lost in the inferno. (Black Press - file photo)

Central Okanagan regional district directors express sorrow over wildfire losses

Close to 70 structures in the North Westside area neighbourhoods were destroyed in White Rock Lake wildfire

Wayne Carson called it “one of the saddest days we’ve faced together in our community.”

Carson, the Regional District of Central Okanagan’s Electoral Area West director, and regional board chair Gail Given were referring to the tough day Tuesday, Aug. 17, for many residents who live in North Westside neighbourhoods of Killiney Beach, Estamont, Aspen Shores, Summersands, Attenborough Road and Ewings Landing.

Following an initial assessment of the areas that sustained significant damage in the White Rock Lake Wildfire, staff with the Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Centre began contacting property owners Tuesday morning, letting them know their property status including those facing a complete loss.

The blaze destroyed about five dozen structures.

“Our thoughts are with the residents that have lost homes and property,” said Carson a former North Westside Fire Chief who is currently evacuated from his home. “I’ve talked with many of the residents who got the news today. They are figuring out next steps. We’ll be here to help and we hope as they move forward in the days and weeks ahead, that their family and friends will be there to support them too.

“We know how difficult this is for those still out of their homes, but we’re going to ask everyone for patience to make it safe enough to get everyone home without injuries.”

The White Rock Lake wildfire currently sits at more than81,000 hectares and remains out of control.

“In spite of the heroic efforts of our North Westside Fire Department, BC Wildfire and other partners, the blaze took about 70 structures,” said Given. With more than 1,463 properties evacuated, I am grateful that no lives have been lost and that the dedicated crews managed to protect so many other structures.”

The area is still under an evacuation order. Although many residents have expressed the desire to get back into their neigbourhoods, this can not be permitted until fire conditions make it safe to do so.

A detailed map showing the present status of orders and alerts affecting properties within the RDCO is at cordemergency.ca/map. Residents that are on evacuation alert and order are reminded to sign up for updates at cordemergency.ca.

Those who are evacuated and concerned about their homes in the neighbourhoods listed above can also register with Emergency Support Services to make sure that officials have their contact information if needed. This can be done by registering online at https://ess.gov.bc.ca or calling 1-833-498-3770.

READ MORE: Not safe for many White Rock Lake wildfire evacuees to come home yet: North Westside Fire Chief

READ MORE: City of Armstrong rescinds evacuation alert

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B.C. wildfires 2017