Clean up recovery work and wildlife attractants

Monday, September 6, 2021 - 12:14pm

Central Okanagan, B.C. — As clean up begins for many residents in the wildfire-affected properties within the Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO), the North Westside Transfer Station has expanded its operations and will be open daily from 8 a.m. to noon. The North Westside Transfer Station is only open to RDCO residents, property owners and tenants. For residents outside the RDCO please contact your local government.

Extended hours are designed to give residents additional access to the facility and support clean up and recovery work. To accommodate the extra material at the site, the transfer station will be closed each afternoon to deal with the influx of waste and make space for the following day. The facility will return to normal operating hours October 1st. 

There will be no limit on the volume of bagged household waste and non-burnt yard waste impacted households can dispose at this time. The transfer station cannot take building materials, furniture, or large appliances, such as fridges and freezers. Hazardous material and demolition waste such as wood from damaged structures or burnt vehicles cannot be accepted. Visit rdco.com/recycle for more waste disposal options.

Fridge and freezer collection
In an effort to reduce wildlife conflicts in neighbourhoods, resident should not put fridges or freezers outside until just before scheduled collection time. Residents should confirm with their insurer before disposing of fridges or freezers because once collected, they cannot be returned. Curbside pick-up of ruined fridges and freezers will be available until Sept. 14. For fridge and freezer collection, call 1-855-238-9350 to schedule a curbside pick-up.

Normal rates, hours and site rules remain in place for the Westside Residential Disposal and Recycling Centre at 2640 Asquith Road in West Kelowna. For more information, visit www.rdco.com/recycle.

Response to recovery
BC Wildfire Service and North Westside Fire Rescue remind everyone that the 83,342-hectare White Rock Lake wildfire remains active; and, although the fire is classified as being held, residents in the Alert areas should be prepared to leave their homes at a moment’s notice as we continue to see warm weather in the forecast.

With all Evacuation Orders in the Regional District of Central Okanagan boundary now rescinded, the Emergency Operations Centre is gradually reducing activities. Staff remain ready to respond should conditions change. Residents can leave non-emergency messages at 250-469-8490; calls will be monitored over the weekend for urgent issues and generally returned Tuesday, Sept. 7. Contact 9-1-1 if you see spot fires threatening homes or growing rapidly.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan has provided information and resources on recovering after a wildfire, including the Returning Home Information Guide, which are available online at www.rdco.com/recovery. Staff also handed out more than 750 guides as residents returned home Thursday and Friday. Starting Tuesday, Sept. 7, Central Okanagan residents, whose properties experienced significant structural damage, can contact the Regional District’s Recovery Office at recovery@rdco.com or 250-469-6111.

Emergency Support Services
Emergency Support Services at 1480 Sutherland Avenue will reopen Tuesday, Sept. 7 from noon to 4 p.m. Evacuated residents requiring support can call 250-469-8512. Leave a message after hours.

Hazard information
Residents are reminded that private and public lands within the wildfire area will have remaining hazards to people and pets. Watch for wildlife, hazard trees, spot fires and debris and stay clear of any ongoing wildfire suppression activities.

The Rapid Assessment Team has inspected more than 340 structures for occupancy suitability and placed placards on those that they have assessed: green – minor to no fire damage, orange – restricted use, and red – unsafe. Please follow the notes that the assessors have provided on the signs.

Property owners should work with their insurers to resolve remaining hazards and begin the recovery, mitigation and rebuilding process for private structures and properties.  

Animal pick-up
Residents with animals in the care of ALERT, call 250-809-7152  or CDART, call 250-809-9589 to arrange pick-up.

More information
For updates on wildfire activity in the Regional District of Central Okanagan or for resources on being prepared for an emergency, visit cordemergency.ca, sign up for e-updates, and follow Central Okanagan Emergency Operations social media channels at facebook.com/cordemergency or twitter.com/CO_emerg.