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Evacuation area expanding as Eagle Bluff Wildfire threatens Osoyoos, Similkameen

An additional 2,094 properties are now under alert on top of the 732 ordered to evacuate
The Eagle Bluff Wildfire, seen here shortly after midnight, is threatening Osoyoos, forcing evacuation orders and alerts. (Remya R Nair - Facebook)

An additional 2,094 properties are now being threatened by the rapidly changing Eagle Bluff wildfire near Osoyoos.

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen and Town of Osoyoos issued the expanded alerts along with the warning that although they will attempt to give people as much warning as possible, the volatile nature of the fire means that orders to evacuate may come suddenly.

The alerts are on top of the previous 732 properties ordered to evacuate in the Town of Osoyoos and in RDOS’ Cawston and Rural Osoyoos areas.

Members of the RCMP and other first responders are currently working to ensure everyone is evacuated from areas under evacuation order. The full list can be found online at the Regional District’s emergency site.

Residents in evacuation order areas must leave immediately and follow first responders along the designated or safest routes available.

The RDOS has established a reception centre for evacuees at the Oliver Community Centre at 6359 Park Drive for people who require immediate assistance. Due to a shortage of commercial and hotel accommodation, people are asked to make arrangements to stay with family or friends.

People are asked to take only what critical items that are immediately available, including government-issued ID, medication, eyeglasses, valuable papers such as insurance information, and the immediate care needs for dependents and pets if possible. Those being evacuated should take as few vehicles as necessary and if room is available take those who need transportation with them.

Pet owners and hobby farmers with concerns for their animals may contact the Animal Emergency Response Team (ALERT) at 250-809-7152 and Commercial Farmers who require assistance may contact the RDOS EOC at 250-490-4225.

If you need transportation assistance, call RDOS EOC at 250-490-4225. For ESS Support by phone, call 250-486-1890.

Residents do need to turn off their natural gas. FortisBC will turn off natural gas service as needed. Store firearms following Section 118 of the Firearms Act. Close all windows and doors and close gates (latch) but do not lock.

The Eagle Bluffs wildfire crossed over into Canada from the United States earlier on July 29 and continued to head north.

The BC Wildfire Service said in an email they currently have several initial attack crews, heavy equipment and structure protection personnel assigned to this incident.

The fire has grown to over 2,000 hectares south of the border according to the Washington State Department of Natural Resources.

According to BC Wildfire Service’s map, the fire has cleared 200 hectares in Canada so far.

READ MORE: Evacuation order for parts of Osoyoos, Similkameen as wildfire crosses border

This is a developing story. More information to come.

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Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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