Evacuation Alert - West Side of Lake Koocanusa

Effective 9pm, an Evacuation ALERT has been issued for 254 properties on the west side of Lake Koocanusa from the Bailey Bridge south to the US border.

“We are urging residents and campers within the Alert area to prepare and gather personal supplies should conditions worsen and an evacuation order be issued,” says Information Officer Loree Duczek. “If you have not yet registered for the Evacuation Notification System, we urge you to do so. It will take RCMP and Search and Rescue several hours to deliver notifications throughout an Alert area of this size. By contrast those who are registered for the Notification System will know immediately, when every second counts.” To register for the Evacuation Notification System or RDEK Email updates, visit rdek.bc.ca.

“If you have RVs, boats or other recreational vehicles you wish to move, or if you have livestock or animals that need to be moved, this is the time to move them,” stresses Duczek. “If an Evacuation Order needs to be issued, RVs, boats and large livestock will not be able to be moved at that time.

Anyone within the Alert area staying at a vacation property, second home or campground will not be eligible for ESS and will be asked to return to their primary residence if an Order is issued. “Anyone at a vacation property or campground may wish to return to their primary residence at the Alert stage as evacuations can happen at any time during the day or night,” explains Duczek. “This is an incredibly popular recreational area and we are urging everyone – including campers – to register for the Evacuation Notification System so they will be aware if conditions change and an Order needs to be issued.”

The fire, which is now estimated at 360 hectares in size, began as a ground fire and quickly spread to the crown fuels due to winds and gusts up to 50 km/hr today. It will be a Fire of Note on the BC Wildfire website bcwildfire.ca and the latest updates will be available there.

To view the Evacuation Alert boundary and other emergency preparedness information is available on rdek.bc.ca. The Emergency Information numbers are 250-426-2188 or 1-855-346-2188.