B.C. wildfire forces 1,550 to evacuate

Sept. 10, 2012 at 12:59 PM

PEACHLAND, British Columbia, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- About 1,550 residents in the Peachland, British Columbia, area were forced to leave their homes when a forest fire broke out, officials said.

Officials said a state of emergency was declared and an evacuation order and alert issued Sunday evening after the Trepanier Forest Fire began Sunday afternoon, QMI agency reported.

The fire had consumed nearly 500 acres as of Monday morning, officials said.

Emergency Operations spokeswoman Kari O'Rourke said about 950 people in Peachland and the Trepanier Bench area, as well as about 600 residents south of the Trepanier area, were under the evacuation order.

Crews from British Columbia Wildfire Management, Kelowna and West Kelowna and Peachland battled the fire through the night. Officials said they don't know how the fire started.

Emergency officials said Monday no one would be allowed to return to their homes until the evacuation notice is lifted.

Peachland is about 215 miles northeast of Vancouver.

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