Hundreds of properties threatened by out of control wildfire near Kelowna, B.C.

The fire was likely caused by human activity

A wildfire that broke out Thursday in British Columbia’s Okanagan region is threatening homes and has forced about 1,100 people to flee.

Area property owner Jeremy Ford says the blaze began as a spot fire along Highway 33 about 25 kilometres east of Kelowna, and by the time he had called for help it was already racing through grass and bush into a heavily treed area.

The BC Wildfire service says the fire was likely caused by human activity and has charred about four square kilometres north of the community of Joe Rich.

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Cynthia Row says she was running in the trails in the hills above Highway 33 when flames began shooting up trees around her, blocking the trail and forcing her to bushwhack downhill toward the highway.

Row says she ran into a wall of fire before reaching the safety of the road but was able to sidestep it, adding she’s very experienced in the bush but has never been so frightened.

Highway 33 is closed through the area and the Wildfire Service expects to release more information after an early morning assessment of the situation, but there’s hope that cooler overnight temperatures have slowed the spread of the flames.

– With files from CKFR

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