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“It’s super scary stuff,”: Former PG resident and his family evacuated from West Kelowna due to surging wildfires

A former Prince George resident, who now lives in West Kelowna says the aggressive wildfires in the city are pretty scary stuff.

Norm Coyne, his 13-year-old daughter, and his wife Candice (who is also from Prince George) evacuated their home yesterday (Thursday) afternoon and are now staying with family in nearby Penticton.

Photo credit: Justin Madu

In an interview with MyPGNow.com, Coyne said the whole situation developed very quickly.

“The smoke started to come over the hill where we are – we live in an area called West Harbour and then with the smoke, you could actually see the fire burn kind of stronger. For us, we have a 13-year-old daughter and we didn’t want to take any chances or anything like that so we packed up and headed out and as we did, the flames were starting to crest the hill.”

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He added one of their closest friends just lost their home due to the wildfires.

Last night, two new fires started as sparks and embers from the McDougall Creek wildfire jumped Okanagan Lake.

West Kelowna is under a state of emergency with 24 hundred properties under evacuation order and thousands more told to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.

Wildfires raging in West Kelowna. Photo credit Benjamin Whiteside.

Coyne referenced the 2017 wildfire season where PG welcomed over 10-thousand evacuees from the Cariboo and other areas – the only difference between that and this year was the fires were right on their doorstep.

“At that point when the wildfires happened, and Prince George was seeing a lot of evacuees, we were kind of on the other side of it. The fire wasn’t threatening our home and it’s a lot different when it’s staring you in the face.”

“It’s super scary stuff man. Now there are thousands of people that have been evacuated and it jumped the lake last night. We are in West Kelowna and now it is in Clifton – yeah it’s hardcore.”

The McDougall Creek wildfire, which is approximately 10 km northwest of West Kelowna is an estimated 68 hundred hectares in size and is a wildfire of note.

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