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Two wildfires in western Canada near full containment

2009-07-23 11:06 BJT

VANCOUVER, July 22 (Xinhua) -- Two wildfires in Kelowna area in Canada's western British Columbia province are close to full containment Wednesday, while a third one continuing to grow, according to fire officials.

The two massive wildfires in Glenrosa and Rose Valley are 80 percent under control and are expected to be fully contained later Wednesday, but it will be some time before they are extinguished, said fire officials.

Jason Johnson, the Emergency Operations Center Director said: "It has been a difficult few days and the emergency isn't over, but the news that the Glenrosa and Rose Valley fires are close to full containment is most welcome."

Local media reported that firefighters fighting the Glenrosa fire, estimated at 300 hectares, were working to create a fuel-free barrier on the southern flank of the fire. Fire crews at the Rose

Valley were working with heavy equipment and supported by helicopter bucketing to contain the fire, estimated at 100 hectares.

With the firefighters gaining upper hand over the fires, nearly half of 11,000 evacuees who were forced to flee West Kelowna because of forest fires were allowed to return home Tuesday, and fire officials said the remaining are expected to return late Wednesday afternoon. But they will remain under an evacuation alert, which means they have to be ready to leave at a moment's notice.