Evacuation Order Issued for Western Canadian Town as Wildfire Crosses over from US

REUTERS/ Jesse Winter
An air tanker drops fire retardant on the Eagle Bluff wildfire after it crossed the Canada-U.S. border from the state of Washington and prompted evacuation orders in Osoyoos, British Columbia, Canada, July 30, 2023.

OSOYOOS, British Columbia (Reuters) – An evacuation order for the Canadian town of Osoyoos and its surrounding district in the province of British Columbia had been issued late Saturday night due to an out-of-control wildfire that has crossed the border from the U.S. state of Washington.

The wildfire, called Eagle Bluff, is approximately 4 kilometers (2.49 miles) from Osoyoos and is currently estimated to be 885 hectares (2,200 acres) in size on the Canadian side of the border, according to the British Columbia Wildfire Service.

It was estimated to be around 2,000 hectares in size on the U.S. side by the BC Wildfire Service.

Osoyoos has an area population of about 6,700, according to an Osoyoos economic development website.

“There are Initial Attack crew personnel, several single resources, two helicopters, structure protection personnel and heavy equipment responding to the incident,” BC Wildfire Service said on Sunday.

The evacuation order covers the area north of the Canada-United States border to the intersection of Highway 97 and Highway 3, as well as west and north along Highway 3.

Regional district of Okanagan-Similkameen information officer Erick Thompson said at a press briefing on Sunday afternoon that nothing much had changed in terms of the situation, adding they are focusing on resources on the eastern flank of the fire.

“A total of 732 properties have been under evacuation order and 2,094 are under evacuation alerts. One hundred thirty two people have sought emergency support,” he said.