Back to top

Wildfire closes Highway 33 east of Kelowna

The Joe Rick wildfire can be seen from throughout the Okanagan Valley Thursday afternoon. — Photo courtesy Twitter

DriveBC is reporting Highway 33 20 kilometres east of Kelowna is closed due to an out of control wildfire just north of the community of Joe Rich.

"Highway 33 closed in Kelowna due to forest fire," the DriveBC website said.

"Closure extends from Big White Rd for Northbound traffic and SB closed at Gallagher Rd. Big White non-commercial vehicle traffic to Kelowna available via McCulloch Road. Assessment in progress. No detour in place."

BC Wildfire Service said the fire is currently estimated to be 380 hectares in size and is currently being classified as out of control.

"Local fire department personnel are on site, and the BC Wildfire Service is responding with firefighters as well as airtanker and helicopter support."

BC Wildfire Service said the cause of this wildfire is currently under investigation with fire origin and cause investigators are en route.

"Structures are in the vicinity of this wildfire," BC Wildfire Service said

"The Central Okanagan Regional District has issued an evacuation order for residences in the area. More information is available at: www.cordemergency.ca"

BC Wildfire Service said smoke from this wildfire is highly visible from the communities of Joe Rich and Kelowna, as well as other surrounding areas.

For updates on Highway 33 check DriveBC .

To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, go to: www.bcwildfire.ca

You can also follow the latest wildfire news:

* On Twitter: http://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo

* On Facebook: http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo