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PHOTOS: Harrowing night in Osoyoos as wildfire forces hundreds to flee their homes

The Eagle Bluffs fire has ballooned to 885 hectares overnight, over 700 properties evacuated

It was a harrowing, stressful night in Osoyoos with over 730 property owners and their animals having to evacuate around 11:30 p.m. from the Eagle Bluffs wildfire.

By Sunday morning, the size of the Eagle Bluffs fire has ballooned from 2oo hectares to 885 ha as of the morning and continues to burn out of control.

Residents in the area of the fire are reporting that no water bombers or helicopters with buckets are on scene this morning as of 8 a.m.

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen will have an update on the fire at 10 a.m.

The Town of Osoyoos has declared a state of emergency. DriveBC is not recommending people travel along Highway 3 between Keremeos and Osoyoos.

Around 10 p.m., the RDOS Emergency Operations Centre and the Town of Osoyoos issued an evacuation order for 732 properties in Electoral Area “A” and the Town of Osoyoos due to the Eagle Bluff wildfire (K52318). The order covers the area north of the Canada/U.S. border to the intersection of Hwy 97 and Hwy 3, west and north along Hwy 3.

Firefighters, RCMP and volunteers were going door to door earlier than telling people to evacuate.

A total of 2,094 properties in Electoral Area “A”, “B” and “C” and the Town of Osoyoos were put on alert just after midnight.

READ MORE: Evacuation alerts expand to over 2,000 with 732 evacuate as wildfire threatens Osoyoos

Ranchers and farmers quickly offered up their horse trailers and many took the time to gather up horses and take them to safety. Many offered their properties to keep horses and livestock. Others offered their homes to evacuees.

Animal Lifeline Emergency Response Team (ALERT) was rescuing animals well into the night, including at the Desert Park Race Track which is where ALERT took in evacuated animals in the 2021 fires.

Contact ALERT if you need assistance with animals at 250-809-7152.

The Osoyoos Golf Course is under the evacuation order and is currently closed.

An Emergency Services reception centre was activated at the Oliver Community Centre located at 6359 Park Dr. in Oliver. Evacuees are being asked to visit the reception if they require supports. If you can stay with family or friends in the region, please do so, said the Town of Osoyoos.

The Eagle Bluffs wildfire in Oroville became very visible to Osoyoos around 2:30 p.m. on July 29 and then crossed over into Canada from the United States a couple hours later and continued to head north, threatening homes and properties.

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Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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