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Effective at 5:00 pm this afternoon, the Evacuation Order will be rescinded for the entire area covering the District of Peachland and Central Okanagan West Electoral Area of the Regional District.

 

The approximately 258 residents will be allowed back into their homes after 5:00 pm and are reminded that they will be on Evacuation Alert and they should be prepared to leave their homes again with little notice.

 

This brings the total number of people on Evacuation Alert as a result of the Trepanier forest fire to 1,550.  RCMP will continue to provide patrols in the area through the overnight hours.

 

A detailed map showing the updated status of the rescinded Evacuation Order and Evacuation Alert areas is available at www.cordemergency.ca.

 

Homeowners in the Coldham Road area of Peachland that are returning to their homes should be aware there was an extensive power outage during the time they were out of their homes on Evacuation Order.  Electricity was restored yesterday and residents should take this into consideration regarding the safety of food in refrigerators and freezers.

 

Interior Health has excellent information available regarding food and water safety and power outages for residents returning after a fire on its Emergency Preparedness webpage: 

 

http://www.interiorhealth.ca/YourEnvironment/EmergencyPreparedness/Documents/Food%20and%20Water%20Information%20for%20Evacuees%20Returning%20after%20a%20Fire.pdf

 

The District of Peachland has opened a Recovery Office to support Peachland residents who have been affected by the Trepanier Forest Fire. The office is located in the Peachland Municipal office, 5806 Beach Avenue and is open weekdays from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.  Residents with questions or needing assistance should email firerecovery@peachland.ca or call 250-767-6055, Extension 120.

 

Residents looking for information regarding aerial fire retardant on their properties can contact ICL at 1-250-554-3530, or via their website at www.phoschek.com.

 

The Regional District Parks Services advises as a result of the forest fire, Trepanier Creek Greenway Regional Park is closed until further notice.  When conditions are safe a hazard assessment will be conducted to determine what work will be required to make the park safe again for the public.

 

 

Information for Residents on Evacuation Alert

 

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 Emergency Management BC’s 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:

 

 www.pep.bc.ca/floods/docs/recoveryguide.pdf

 

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:

 

www.interiorhealth.ca/YourEnvironment/EmergencyPreparedness

 

Food Safety

 

If the power has been out in your home the food in your fridge or freezer may no longer be safe to eat. The following tips will help you determine if food has been affected.

Ideally fridge temperatures should remain at 4 degrees Celsius or colder and foods in the freezer should remain frozen solid.

 

In a power outage a refrigerator can usually keep food cool for up to four hours and a freezer can usually keep food safe for a few days - if it is kept closed.

 

If you don’t have a thermometer or if you don’t know how long your fridge or freezer was without power:

 

·         Check the products in the fridge for spoilage and souring.

·         Milk and other dairy products that have spoiled/become sour are good indicators that the fridge has been off and all food should be discarded.

·         Ice cream that has thawed and refrozen is a good indicator that the freezer has been off.

·         Fish product that smells bad upon thawing is also a sign that food in your freezer has thawed and refrozen.

 

Frozen foods that have thawed must be discarded as they may no longer be safe to eat.

 

Food in the freezer that has (or may have) reached 4 degrees Celsius or warmer should be discarded and must not be refrozen.

 

If there has been an extended power outage, it may be necessary to contact your insurance provider. Make a list of items discarded and photograph those items (if possible) for insurance purposes.

 

Remember, if in doubt - throw it out. Do not take any chances with the safety of your food.

 

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.

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