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VIDEO: Mayor Tom Dyas credits firefighters for some big saves in Kelowna

After a ride-along with the fire chief along the city's fire lines, Kelowna Mayor Tom Dyas was struck with how close it came to being much worse.

"When I see how close the burn is," said Dyas. "And the potential of what could have happened."

Dyas described burned areas right up to people's backyards.

"There are areas of Clifton where the firefighters themselves just basically dug in and saved those neighbourhoods," he said.

<who>Photo credit: Contributed </who>

And it was the same thing in McKinley Landing.

"The commitment of all of the crews on the ground that saved those communities."

Dyas said within 24 hours, the regular staffing of 23 firefighters with several pieces of equipment was bolstered to over a hundred pieces of equipment and 600 firefighters.

"It's just amazing," he said. "The effort they put in that night saved so many homes in our community."

<who>Photo credit: NowMedia </who>

But the mayor also noted the important work that needs to be completed before people can safely return.

Kelowna Fire Chief Travis Whiting is calling for patience.

"It's a key priority that we want you home and back in your beds," said Chief Whiting.

<who>Photo credit: NowMedia </who> Kelowna Fire Chief Travis Whiting

Yesterday, it appeared as many as five Kelowna homes had been lost to the wildfire.

It turns out it's not quite as bad as that.

An update from the Kelowna Fire Department has identified that the five structures lost include three homes and two outbuildings on four pieces of property.

<who>Photo credit: NowMedia </who>

The three homes that were lost were all on two properties near the Glenmore Landfill.

"We'd like to extend our heartfelt sympathy to those who have lost their homes," said Whiting.

While people living in areas like Wilden have lost much of the forest they're used to seeing, Dyas said they have a lot to be thankful for.

<who>Photo credit: NowMedia </who> Tom Dyas

"It will look a little different for a little bit, but their homes are there, they're safe and those grasses will grow back."

Barring any surprises, more evacuation orders are expected to be lifted soon.

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