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Owner of B.C. fruit stand recounts ‘flames popping up everywhere’ from wildfire

The Mount Eneas wildfire is burning at about 200 hectares south of Peachland

With a tired voice, the owner of Little Acre Fruit Stand recounted last night’s wildfire that burned across the highway from her home.

“We were up all night and they saved the house across the road, but it was crazy, you really couldn’t see very much except for the flames popping up everywhere,” said Karen Marsh, owner of the fruit stand located on Highway 97 in Summerland.

The wildfire, named Mount Eneas, is located about four kilometres south of Peachland and is about 200 hectares in size.

Evacuation orders have been issued for properties in the Brent Road area, including all campsites at Okanagan Lake Provincial Park.

The wildfire is also causing heavy traffic delays on the highway, as it is open to single-lane alternating vehicles with a police escort.

Marsh and her family spent the night spraying water on her home, which is located behind the fruit stand, watching the flames burn in the darkness.

“We finished up at 5 a.m. this morning,” she said. “Things are just smouldering right now, there are little hotspots.”

She said as of 5 a.m. the fire is still burning in the hills across from the store’s location.

“My son said he wasn’t going to leave,” she said.

Marsh remembered the 2003 firestorm across the lake as it burned in Okanagan Mountain Park, but said even though there was a risk of embers from the fire reaching her home from across the lake, it wasn’t as concerning as the wildfire near her home.

She said neighbouring properties were still standing this morning along the highway.

The fruit stand has been on its highway location for 40 years, Marsh said.

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