Date: Sunday, August 23, 2003
Time: 11:45 a.m.
PUBLIC INFO LINE: 869-0386
PRC RECEPTION CENTRE: 762-8646
KSS RECEPTION CENTRE: 762-3149
RED CROSS INFO LINE RE EVACUEES: 1-888-350-6070
PROVINCIAL INFO LINE: 1-800-311-7044
Officials in the Emergency Operations Centre are continuing to plan and strategize on all aspects of the Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park forest fire.
Staff is well aware of the desire of many residents who have been forced out of their homes through the Evacuation Orders to return even temporarily. The Evacuation Orders and Alerts are under constant review, but at the present time No Day Passes are being issued for re-entry into these areas as public safety remains paramount. When Incident Command knows conditions are safe, media will be advised of any change in the status of Day Passes.
Staff from the City of Kelowna and Regional District of Central Okanagan has worked as quickly as possible to gather specific information regarding those properties affected by the fireís advance on Friday night. This afternoon at 1:30 pm those residents identified by street addresses that have been made public have been invited to a meeting at Trinity Baptist Church. Itís believed up to 600 property owners could attend the session: all are residents of the specifically affected streets in the Okaview, Chute Lake Road, Crawford Estates, Swick/Rimrock Road and the South Lakeshore areas. To coincide with this 1:30 pm meeting, maps and lists of affected properties will be posted at the Parkinson Recreation Centre and Kelowna Secondary School reception centres, as well as at Skyreach Place, which is being used for temporary accommodation.
The Emergency Operations Centre is working on the initial phase of a recovery plan to assist residents whose properties have sustained damage or were not able to be saved. This includes but is not limited to things like shelter, clean-up, restoring essential services and rebuilding the affected neighbourhoods. This is not a short-term program and could last more than one year.
Emergency Social Services volunteers continue their outstanding effort in assisting the thousands of residents who have been forced from their homes. Of immediate importance is the likelihood that there will need to be another five day extension in the accommodation arrangements for many of the evacuees. Tomorrow is the day that the present arrangement runs out. A further extension would require at least one member from each family who has ESS arranged accommodation to re-register tomorrow. Those whose last name begins with the letter A through K will have to go to the Parkinson Recreation Centre, while those who have last names beginning with the letter L through Z must go to the Kelowna Secondary School.