Okanagan Mountain Fire Reboot 2017 Day 315

November 10, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

OK Fire 1 Day 315OK Fire 1 Day 315 Original taken August 16, 2003 : Nikon D100, Nikon 24-85 Lens (click images for large views)

Travelling north from Penticton to Kelowna while I was dropping something off at a winery on the Naramata Bench I had noticed a small plume of smoke up the lake. It looked like someone was burning some brush because the column of smoke was not that large when I first noticed it around noon or so. As I started to head up the highway to Kelowna the smoke had increased significantly. When I got across from Rattlesnake Island this is what I saw and there was already one helicopter and a small water bomber over there trying to put out the fire.  As you can tell by the water the wind was up and blowing straight down the valley, pushing it towards Kelowna where it would become one of the worst fires in BC history to that point in time.

OK Fire 2 Day 315OK Fire 2 Day 315 After passing Rattlesnake Island I was around the corner heading to Peachland and stopped to grab another photo and the fire had picked up in intensity and was now out of control.

A blurb from Wikipedia...

It was 14 years ago that a lightning strike in the early morning hours of Aug. 16, just outside the southern boundaries of the city, across the lake from Peachland, sparked what would become, at the time, the largest post-war mass evacuation Canada had seen.

It also led to the destruction of 239 homes in the Upper Mission, most of those in the Kettle Valley and Crawford Estates areas. Twelve wooden and two metal trestles in historic Myra Canyon were also damaged or destroyed.

More than 33,000 people were evacuated; 4,000 of those were sent packing a second time as fires raged around them.

At one point, it seemed people within the city were either out of their home, or hosting someone who was.

The army was sent in to help battle the fires, setting up a makeshift camp on the Apple Bowl and Parkinson Rec Centre fields.

At the height of the blaze, which burned through 26,500 hectares, firefighters on the front lines estimated the wall of flame to be up to 400 metres high.

It was classified as a Rank 6 firestorm.

On Sept. 12, all remaining evacuation alerts were lifted, and eight days later, the Ministry of Forests announced the fire was 100 per cent contained.


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