Cooler temperatures and low wind overnight have provided ideal conditions for fire fighters monitoring the still active Trepanier forest fire.
Fire crews easily snuffed out a few minor flare ups found during overnight patrols and report a quiet night on the fire front,
The Unified Command involving BC Wildfire Management and local structural fire departments will be determining today’s plan of action in the continuing effort to contain the blaze which remains at a size of 200-hectares and is 75% contained.
There are still 416 people out of their homes on Evacuation Order. These residents may receive assistance with food, lodging and clothing by visiting the Emergency Support Services reception centre at the Westbank Lions Community Hall, 2466 Main Street in West Kelowna. Volunteers will be on hand to help starting at 9:00 am today.
A detailed map showing all Evacuation Order and Alert areas can be viewed at www.cordemergency.ca
School District No. 23 advises Peachland Elementary School will remain closed this morning. Students are directed to attend George Pringle Elementary School gymnasium at 8:30 this morning. For more details and specific information regarding bussing arrangements please visit the School District website www.sd23.bc.ca
More than 1,100 Peachland residents were allowed to return home last night after the Evacuation Order was lifted for their streets. They remain on Evacuation Alert and should be prepared to leave with short notice if conditions change.
Those returning to the area are reminded that hazardous conditions may still exist on private properties. The public is requested to stay out of fire-affected areas for their own safety.
The Provincial Emergency Program website provides some important information for those returning to their homes after an evacuation. The booklet One Step at a Time – A Guide to Disaster Recovery can be found at:
Interior Health also provides some useful information for residents returning to their homes. It deals with exposure to smoke from forest fires, food safety, water quality and septic tanks and disposal fields and can be found on its website Emergency Preparedness page:
The Emergency Operation Centre reminds all residents that although the fire affected area may appear safe, serious hazards still remain. The hazards listed below may not represent all the hazards you may come across. Please be cautious!
· Widow Makers – are burnt trees with little or no limbs that have limited structural support and may fall silently at any time.
· Easy Bake Ovens – burning root structures that leave the surrounding ground unstable and extremely hot. The roots can burn for days and are extremely dangerous. These areas may appear as “dinosaur footprints” and must be avoided at all times.
· Falling Limbs – may occur in any area where trees have been exposed to the fire!
· Electrical Hazards – Please be aware of fallen power lines (and other utility lines) and power poles affected by the fire. Some poles may be unstable. Treat all fallen lines with extreme caution. If you come across a utility line that may be activated, contact the necessary utility company.
· Structural Hazards – Some of the homes affected by the fire may have structural hazards, fall hazards, and potentially dangerous gas pockets. Avoid private properties at all times. Standing chimneys and walls may appear to be sound. Be aware the concrete in these structures may be fragile due to excessive heat that may collapse at any time.
· General Site Safety – Emergency response personnel may be active in many of the areas you are working. Please DO NOT block access to streets.
· Wild Animals – The fire may have affected wild animals in the area. If you spot a bear, cougar, or other animal in distress, please keep your distance and contact the conservation officer service.
New information and updates on the Evacuation Orders and Alerts will be available on the Regional District Emergency Program website www.cordemergency.ca and updates will also be there and released to the media as soon as it becomes available. Media can contact (250) 469-8493 if needed. Public inquiries can be directed to 1-877-569-8490.