While Norma Marton watched from her daughter’s property as one of three West Kelowna wildfires crept toward her evacuated Glenrosa home, she was struck by the fire’s beauty.

“It was a pretty neat scene because there was all this smoke … hanging over all the ridges of the hills,” said Marton, who reluctantly abandoned her home on Saturday.

“I walked up the street and I could see the houses (burning), so I knew it was pretty serious,” she said.

Two massive wildfires broke out in West Kelowna on Saturday — one near Glenrosa and another near Rose Valley. A third fire has since broken out on nearby Terrace Mountain.

Around 11,000 people have been forced to leave their homes and 6,000 others are on evacuation alert after the Central Okanagan Regional District declared a state of emergency.

Nine buildings have been destroyed and there are no reports of injuries.

Fire officials said yesterday that the Glenrosa fire was 60 per cent contained and crews were now battling to get the other two fires — which are in less populated areas — under control.

Marton said she knew it was time to leave when the water bombers started dumping water near her property.

“I had a list on file … of things that should be taken. Since the ’03 fire you have to be more aware,” she said.

“You start to get agitated and upset because you know you have to leave. I just looked at everything and thought, ‘You know what? It’s just stuff.’”

Marton headed to her daughter’s home on the opposite side of West Bank and spent the night watching the blaze.

“You kind of get fixated on it,” she said. “It is a bit frustrating, but you’re looking at others that have lost their homes and you can’t really feel too self-centred,” she said.

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