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VIDEO: The portal is now open for residents to learn if their homes are lost to fire

It will be the most difficult visit to the internet ever for some Central Okanagan Residents.

The fate of their homes in fire-ravaged areas is now just a click away.

The Chief Administrative Officer Sally Ginter said the decision to post online the condition of homes in fire-affected areas was not easily arrived at.

"Time is of the essence", said Ginter, "but we need to be as accurate as possible."

She explained that with images of neighbourhoods starting to circulate already, they had to move quickly.

"And the number, to be frank, is too many to call individually," she said.

"So instead we've got to get a bit of a different model."

Kelowna City Manager and Acting head of the Emergency Operations Centre Doug Gilchrist said the next step for those who learn their property is lost to be taken out to see for themselves.

“When it’s safe to do so," he said. "We will be looking to have the property owners who have had losses taken out to those properties on a priority basis."

<who>Photo credit: NowMedia </who> Doug Gilchrist

The number of homes lost to fire on the east side of the lake is 7.

But the number on the west side is now counted at 174.

When you consider that Lake Okanagan Resort is counted as just one property, the number of homes lost is really larger than that.

There's some very bad news on the way for a lot of people.

“In a perfect world, our preference, without question, would be to personally call every single homeowner," explained Ginter, "and be with them when they receive what is probably the worst news they have ever received."

But with the number of homes involved and the speed with which information flies around, the EOC felt they had to move quickly.

Once people find out the status of their home, those with losses will be asked to fill out a short form with some basic contact information

"Just so we know where to find them," said Ginter.

<who>Photo credit: NowMedia </who> Sally Ginter

"Then we will be reaching back out to them to give more information," she explained.

Ginter said directors of the EOC asked themselves, how quickly would they like to know if it was their home.

"And the answer to that was as quickly as possible," she said.

"It's a little unconventional, but it's been a little bit of a unique scenario."

Ginter said it's quite clear that a significant number of those who have lost their homes were already aware of it.

Get the status of your property here.

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