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More evacuation orders rescinded in B.C. fires as warm, dry weather returns

Evacuation orders in the Central Okanagan region of British Columbia continue to be rescinded as more residents are allowed to return home.

The Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Centre says it has lifted a number of evacuation orders throughout communities in West Kelowna, Westbank First Nation and District of Lake Country.

Meanwhile, crews say they were carrying out an aerial controlled burn Friday to combat the McDougall Creek wildfire, which forced thousands of residents in the Kelowna area to flee their homes earlier this month.

Emergency workers are also again warning boaters to stay off Okanagan Lake in the section between the W. R. Bennett Bridge and Fintry Provincial Park to accommodate firefighting aircraft that may make use of the water in the fight against wildfires.

The McDougall Creek wildfire has burned about 123 square kilometres of land since being discovered on Aug. 15.

Cooler and wetter weather earlier this week — including heavy rainfalls in parts of the Okanagan and Shuswap regions — helped firefighters turn the tide on a number of major blazes in the region.

The latest update from the Columbia Shuswap Regional District says the Bush Creek East wildfire has destroyed more than 130 structures and partially damaged almost 40 more, as crews continue to battle the blaze now measuring 418 square kilometres in size.

Environment Canada says weather in both the Okanagan and the Shuswap will be sunny and warm this weekend, with high temperatures pushing 30 degrees Celsius before rain is forecast to return next Tuesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 26, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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