The last two weeks have inarguably been some of the most challenging our community has seen in 20 years since the Okanagan Mountain Park fires. It goes without saying that the McDougall Creek Wildfire took everyone by surprise and has created really trying times in our city. But, amidst all of this, our community and neighbours have stood together and shown incredible resilience in the face of such a difficult situation.
Thanks to the amazing efforts by the BC Wildfire services and local fire departments, many houses were saved from the fires and many residents have now been given the green light to safely return to their homes. After the worst wildfire season in BC’s history, lower temperatures and longer nights are going to give fire crews a fighting chance at significantly reducing these wildfires’ impacts.
The incredible support that our community has shown is far too large to put into words. From Prospera place setting up as a relief centre, to countless local businesses offering everything from free meals, spaces, clothing and even activities, the one positive that can be taken from these events is the showcase of support our Okanagan neighbours have for eachother in times of crisis. It’s truly heartwarming to know just how strong our community can be in the face of such unfathomable challenges.
While some fires are said to potentially burn until the winter arrives, there is a shared sigh of relief knowing that many residents have been able to return home while others continue to support eachother until that time comes. An additional 33 fire trucks have been sent for support from Peachland to Artmstrong for help in the continued efforts to minimize the potential impacts of the wildfire. As fire crews continue their heroic task, some good news can be found in knowing that the West Kelowna fire department will be resuming “normal day-to-day operations” after countless hours spent battling the blaze over the last two weeks. Rest assured, fire crews will continue their efforts until no longer necessary, however long that might take.
For anyone looking for updates on the McDougall Creek fire, the following map is constantly being updated: https://www.cordemergency.ca/map
For those who are able, the following website has been created to list the many charities supporting wildfire relief efforts in BC: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/donate-to-charities-responding-to-the-british-columbia-wildfires/
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