Hwy. 33 east of Kelowna remains closed to traffic this morning, an out-of-control wildfire shutting down a popular alternative route from the South Okanagan-Boundary to the city.
Firefighters, helicopters and heavy equipment are on site approximately 20 km east of Kelowna near the community of Joe Rich to deal with a blaze discovered yesterday afternoon.
The fire is currently estimated to be 380 hectares in size and is currently being classified as out of control.
The cause of this wildfire is currently under investigation. Fire origin and cause investigators are en route.
Almost 500 properties and more than 1,000 people are threatened by the blaze. The Central Okanagan Regional District has issued an evacuation order for residences in the area. More information is available at: www.cordemergency.ca
Smoke from this wildfire is highly visible from the communities of Joe Rich and Kelowna, as well as other surrounding areas.
Hwy. 33 is a scenic alternative route that heads north from Rock Creek through the communities of Westbridge and Beaverdell and is an access for Big White Resort.
The highway is currently closed between Gallagher Road and Big White Road.