A helicopter flies near the Christie Mountain wildfire near Penticton. (BC Wildfire Service)

Majority of Heritage Hills evacuees set to go back home

74 properties remain under evacuation order as geotechnical work continues

The majority of residents and business owners who were under the evacuation order in the Heritage Hills area will be able to go back home starting at 2 p.m. on Aug. 25.

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) chair Karla Kozakevich confirmed besides lifting the evacuation alert for the Upper Carmi area, they are now lifting the evacuation order in the Heritage Hills area.

“We are able to allow the majority of the homeowners back into their homes,” she said during the Aug. 25 press conference in Penticton.

“Unfortunately, there are a number of homes at the top of Heritage Hills that still require some assessments and work related to slope stability and retaining walls, and they will stay on evacuation order at this time.”

The RDOS has released an interactive map of which properties are safe to go back to, with 74 homes still under the evacuation order. Kozakevich added once residents determine their property is safe, they can head home as soon as they are able starting this afternoon.

Home and business owners alike in the area will receive re-entry kits, which will detail solid waste collection changes and other information they need to settle back in. The kits are available at the checkpoint and will be given to residents and business owners upon entry.

“Once again, I continue to offer thanks to B.C. Wildfire and all of the agencies and volunteers that have continued to assist not only in fighting the fire, but in providing support to all the evacuees,” Kozakevich said.

B.C. Wildfire deputy incident commander Dennis Rexsin said crews are making good progress towards containing the fire.

“We’ve been coupled with some great weather recently and we’re taking advantage of that. Containment of the lower section and up on the flanks is progressing quite well,” he said.

“In the next few days, we hope to have that status reflected, changed and updated on our homepage.”

Despite the progress, Rexsin said there will still be smouldering spots in the next few days.

“I expect containment to be accomplished in the very near future.”

The Christie Mountain wildfire remains at Rank 1, which means there is still smoke and smouldering, but there are no open flames.

READ ALSO: BC Wildfire continues suppression efforts on Christie Mountain blaze


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

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