PEACHLAND, B.C. - Authorities have ordered the evacuation of about a thousand people from the path of a wildfire raging near Peachland, B.C.
RCMP Const. Steve Holmes says the fire to the west of the Okanagan community, in an area called Trepannier Bench, was spotted this afternoon and was quickly whipped into a major burn by 30- to 40-kilometre an hour winds.
A section of Highway 97 through Peachland has been closed because of the unpredictable nature of the fast-moving fire and the smoke and flame being driven down toward the highway.
Holmes says a number of helicopters, a water bomber and ground crews were quickly brought in to battle the blaze.
The area is mainly rural, with several farms and a couple of subdivisions.
An emergency centre has been set up for evacuees in nearby Kelowna, and a livestock rescue team has been at work removing animals from the path of the flames.