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Wildfire east of Kelowna, B.C., still out of control, area remains evacuated

THE CANADIAN PRESS

A wildfire is seen from a Canadian Forces Chinook helicopter near Williams Lake, B.C., on July 31, 2017. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

A wildfire is seen from a Canadian Forces Chinook helicopter near Williams Lake, B.C., on July 31, 2017. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

KELOWNA, B.C. — A wildfire burning about 20 kilometres east of Kelowna, B.C., forcing about 1,000 people from their homes, remains out of control.

Navi Saini with the BC Wildfire Service said the blaze is 465 hectares in size — an increase from previous estimates that is attributed to better mapping rather than growth.

The fire that started Thursday is not contained but Saini described it as a smoldering ground fire with some open flames.

Highway 33 south of the fire remains closed and a winding detour has been established for non-commercial vehicles.

Central Okanagan Emergency Operations said no properties have been damaged and favourable weather conditions have aided crews in protecting structures.

Saini said local fire departments have installed sprinkler units around properties for added protection.

While the fire season is far from over without significant rains to soak tinder dry ground, residents in some parts of the province have been re-assured they’re no longer at high risk.

Residents of the village of Cache Creek who have been prepared to leave for more than five weeks because of a massive 1,750 square kilometre blaze were told Friday evening the evacuation alert for the community had been rescinded.

Alerts for the village of Clinton and an area near Salmo in the Kootenays have also been lifted.