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Updated: Thu, 17 Jul 2014 22:00:23 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

West Kelowna wildfire evacuation order expanded to 1,500 residents

Brady Strachan/CBC

Brady Strachan/CBC

The Kelowna Fire Chief has expanded an evacuation order issued earlier this afternoon to include 1,500 residents in 585 homes, who are now being asked to leave immediately in the face of the rapidly spreading Smith Creek wildfire.

Officials say a home and out-building previously thought lost was shrouded in smoke and was saved by helicopter bucket crews attacking the blaze.

The fire, which was half a hectare when first reported, has expanded to 30 hectares in the hills behind Smith Creek and Dixie Roads, and is threatening homes in the neighbourhood immediately below it. 

There are reports of embers falling near homes. Police and firefighters are going door-to-door telling residents to leave.

The updated evacuation order now includes the following areas: the Smith Creek Neighbourhood, Tallus Ridge Estates, Alexandria Way and Shannon Woods and these specific locations:

-  3001-3072 Whispering Hills Drive 

-  Copper Ridge Drive 

-  Copper Ridge Court 

-  Copper Ridge Place

-  Copper Ridge Way 

-  Iron Ridge Place 

-  Iron Ridge Road 

-  Stone Ridge Drive 

-  Bridal Hill Court 

-  Bridal Hill Road 

-  Rhinestone Road 

-  Wildhorse Drive 

-  Sageview Road 

-  Saddleridge Drive 

-  Sugosa Place 

-  North side of Salish Road (non-agricultural properties) 

-  3046-3101 Smith Creek Road 

-  Summerview Place 

-  Summerview Court 

-  Doucette Drive 

- 3125-3190 Shetler Drive 

- Telcor Place 

-  Sandberg Road 

- Twin Place 

An emergency reception centre has been set up at the Lakeview Heights Baptist Church at 2630 Alhambra Drive.

Residents needing transportation assistance can call 250-469-8490 for help.

People are also being asked to close windows and doors prior to leaving and to shut off all gas and electrical appliances, except fridges and freezers. Officials advise to gather family, put pets on leashes, and take only essential items like wallets, purses, keys and medicine.

They're also asking people to avoid the Smith Creek area so emergency crews can do their work.

Emergency Management: What to do during an evacuation

Click here for a larger interactive map of the evacuation area

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