Rock Creek fire evacuees making way to North Okanagan

Evacuees urged to contact family or friends, if haven't already done so, to let them know your whereabouts and that your safe...

North Okanagan volunteers were doing their part Thursday and Friday to help evacuees from a wildfire near Rock Creek.

Persons evacuated from the Westbridge area near Rock Creek on Thursday and Friday were  advised to report to the ESS Reception Centre at Lumby’s White Valley Community Centre, located at 2250 Shields Avenue.

“People are still coming through Lumby and can still check in today at White Valley,” said Helen Sinclair, deputy emergency manager for North Okanagan Emergency Management on Friday.

“White Valley will forward them to Vernon, to me, and we have people standing by to help them.

“Between Lumby and Vernon and the whole area, everybody has been really awesome. They’ve been phoning in, offering whatever people need. Municipal offices and volunteers have been phenomenal as well.”

The White Valley reception centre was shut down late Friday afternoon.

“The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary has hired the Red Cross and they’re the ones looking after reallocations,” said Sinclair. “We are handing along all names and addresses that we have to the regional district.

“But if anyone still comes through and needs our help, our volunteers are available 24-7.”

The wildfire started northwest of Rock Creek at 1 p.m. Thursday.

The immediate area of Hulme Creek Road was evacuated.

The fire spread quickly north forcing people in the Kettle River Provincial Park to evacuate on foot and the evacuees were tactically evacuated by incident command.

The public was advised that affected residents on Christion Valley Road to Fiva Creek were evacuated and they were directed north up the Christion Valley Road to Lumby.

Sinclair said Friday her office was getting a number of calls from family and friends of those evacuated asking if they’d heard anything from them.

A number of evacuees came through Thursday night and Friday, and made arrangements to stay with family and friends.

“Some people we don’t have registered, we don’t know if they came this way,” said Sinclair. “We are asking evacuees to please call their families.”

As of noon Friday, the fire was an estimated 2,500 hectares in size with B.C. Wildfire Service and local fire departments responding.

There were 76 firefighters, four helicopters, three pieces of heavy equipment and two air tankers battling the blaze.

Additional resources and personnel were en route Friday.