Almost 500 properties in Joe Rich remain under evacuation order this morning. A wildfire broke out yesterday afternoon and exploded to more than 400 hectares, about the size of Stanley Park, with the strong winds. Fire crews from 10 departments up and down the valley showed up to help and BC Wildfire sent in additional crews, equipment, 4 helicopters and air tankers. Water trucks have had to bring in water as there are no hydrants in the fire area. Residents were evacuated with a reception centre set up at Willow Park Church on Highway in Kelowna. The ALERT organization was also standing by to help people with their pets. Highway 33 was closed, and remains closed this morning between Gallagher by Black Mountain, and Big White. Fire crews remained all night with efforts to contain it, and hope for light winds.
Drivers have already had to put up with delays as they build the roundabout at Lakeshore and Collett, but it’s going to get really bad for three days. Paving will start at 7 this morning and detours and flaggers will be rerouting traffic around the area until Monday. The city is advising motorists to give themselves some extra time if they travel through that area.
The last, free, outdoor concert of the summer in West Kelowna features two headline acts at the Annette Beaudreau Amphitheatre, next to Johnson Bentley Memorial Aquatic Centre. Chipko Jones is an Okanagan-based reggae and African band and singer, songwriter and hand drummer Kym Gouchie and the Ellis Avenue Band combine elements of traditional, folk and roots music. It goes tomorrow with the opening acts and KidZone beginning at 4pm.
BOAT VS SHORELINE
Someone may have trouble with an insurance claim after running his speed boat into the shore of Okanagan Lake on Wednesday evening. RCMP say it crashed into some trees near Lake Okanagan Resort. Three people on board ended up in the water and were rescued by the Kelowna fireboat. One man was so drunk police kept him in custody overnight until he sobered up.
With the closure of Glen Canyon Regional Park due to the ongoing extreme fire hazard, the Regional Parks ‘Take a Hike’ program for tomorrow has been cancelled. The next hike will happen once things cool down. It’s scheduled for Saturday October 21 and will explore Black Mountain Regional Park. You can sign up at regionaldistrict.com/parks
Westcorp is hoping Kelowna Council will approve a new design for its waterfront tower. The previous design was 24 storeys, the new one is 32. There would be a 16th floor restaurant and Westcorp says it has figured out a way to put some of the parking underground. A significant change is that the previously planned 25 rental suites will become 49 for-purchase condos.
It should make it easier to see where the blacktop ends and the shoulder begins. Roadside reflectors will be installed on the Okanagan Connector between Merritt and Pennask Summit to give better visibility of the road alignment both at night and in adverse conditions. The work is expected to begin this fall.
In the CFL last night Winnipeg got by Montreal 34-31 in overtime. The Al’s Nik Lewis became the all-time leading receiver in the CFL with 1031 catches, 2 more than Geroy Simon. Just one game tonight. Saskatchewan is in Edmonton at 6:30. Two games tomorrow including BC in Ottawa at 12:30 and Toronto visits Calgary at 6.
If you need a football fix south of the border tonight, Kansas City takes on the Seahawks in Seattle in a preseason game that starts at 5.
Going into the second round of the Northern Trust Open in Iowa, Russell Henley is atop the leaderboard after a 6-under 64 yesterday. Dustin Johnson is one shot back.
The new NDP government has thrown cold water on a committee that was preparing a bid for BC to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Finance Minister Carole James says there are too many costs, obligations and risks associated with hosting such a large-scale event.
Another exhibition game for the West Kelowna Warriors tonight. They host the Merritt Centennials at Royal LePage place at 7. Tickets are just five bucks at the box office
After wrapping up their Series in Tampa yesterday with a 2-0 loss, the Toronto Blue Jays begin a weekend homestand against Minnesota this afternoon at 4.