by Dave Preston
The last thing Keith Fielding was expecting to hear Sunday afternoon is that his home was under evacuation.
Peachland’s mayor was handing out awards at the 93rd Peachland Fall Fair at the community centre when he received word that his home was on an evacuation order.
“I almost couldn’t get back to my house,” Fielding said in an interview Sunday night.
Fielding said he was stopped by RCMP as he tried to get home. He explained that he has a disabled daughter living in a suite in the home and police did let him through.
Fielding, his wife and their disabled daughter got into the family motorhome. Fielding was reached by cellphone from his temporary home in the parking lot of the Westbank Walmart.
“I heard that the weather is expected to change significantly around 4 o’clock,” said Fielding.
A cold front is expected to move into the Okanagan, bringing with it rain.
A forest fire started just after 3 p.m. Sunday near the intersection of Trepanier Bench Road and Hwy. 97C. It exploded in size due to very high winds, which pushed the fire into the Trepanier and Desert Pines area of Peachland.
The Trepanier area was evacuated in short order. Later Sunday evening, the area of Clements Crescent and the Ponderosa neighborhood were also evacuated.
“I understant that three or four homes in Peachland have been hit,” said Fielding, adding he could not comment on where the homes were located.
Firefighters from all over the Okanagan Valley descended on Peachland to help with firefighting efforts.
“It’s a great thing to see how the fire departments collaborate and work together in an emergency,” said Fielding. “I am grateful for the support.”