News Release No. 42                    

Date:   Wednesday August 27, 2003   

Time:   11:30 a.m.


PUBLIC INFO LINE:                                          869-0386

PRC RECEPTION CENTRE:                            762-8646


PROVINCIAL INFO LINE:                                 1-800-311-7044





City officials continue to develop a recovery plan for areas impacted by the Okanagan Mountain Park fire, and most residents will soon be permitted to return to their homes.


Crews with Aquila and Terasen are currently working to secure utilities damaged in the inferno, and restoration of services is already underway in some areas. City crews are removing dangerous trees on public property, and placing warnings on private property where numerous hazards exist such as burned out trees, remaining structural components and ash pits.   This work will continue for some time.


The Evacuation Order governing the south eastern sector of the city has now been rescinded and new orders put in place that cover much smaller areas including Southbridge, Stonebridge, Arborview, June Springs, Okaview, Curlew, Kettle Valley, Gallaghers Canyon, Timberline, Rimrock and along Lakeshore Road from Barnaby Road to the city limits..  The new boundary of the Evacuation Order is as follows:


South East Kelowna Boundary – Start at Stewart Road W at the power line.  Follow power line to Stewart Road East.  Then North and East to Sallows Road.  On a line from the end of Sallows to the intersection of Baldock Road and Wallace Hill Road.  From the intersection of Wallace Hill Road and Baldock Road on a line North and East to the intersection of Sealy Road and Mathews Road.  The Streets Jaud Road and Prospect Road are outside of the evacuation area.  Then the line continues from the intersection of Mathews Road and Sealy Road to the intersection of McClain Road and June Springs Road. On a line from McLean Road and June Springs Road East and then North to the McCulloch Road to include Mahonia Drive.   East to the East side of Mahonia Drive Subdivision boundary North to Mission Creek.  Following Mission Creek east to City Boundary.  Then a line South to McCulloch then following McCulloch North to Hydraulic Lake Dam Entrance.  McCulloch Lake Road will be fully closed between Mahonia Drive and McCulloch Lake.  Then follow Forest Service Road South to 201 then west along OK Falls Forestry Road (201) to Chute Lake.


Residents of the area north of Barnaby Road including Steele Road and Drummond Court in the Mission, and residents of the Belgo and Joe Rich areas in the east, will be permitted to return to their homes as of 12:00 p.m. today as the Evacuation Order has been lifted, but this area remains under Evacuation Alert. 


Between 4 pm and 6 pm today, residents of Crawford Estates will be permitted to return to their homes.  RCMP will staff road checks to ensure only residents of the Crawford Estates area are allowed in. After 6 pm the road check will come down and there will be unrestricted access.  People who do not live in the Crawford Estates area are asked to stay out of the area to reduce the potential of traffic congestion and confusion.


All residents returning to their homes remain on Evacuation Alert and must be prepared to leave should an Evacuation Order be put in place.  The Alert remains in effect for safety reasons.


The Evacuation Alert that has been in place over the past few days for areas north of Barnaby Road and Sarsons Road has been lifted.


Officials with the Emergency Operations Centre and various agencies such as the utility companies are working together to develop a phased plan allowing residents to re-enter those areas that are still off limits and under Evacuation Order.   A time frame is being developed for a safe and orderly re-entry.   This depends on how quickly safety concerns are addressed and utility companies can ensure service. 


Residents are advised that electrical power and natural gas service may not be available immediately. In addition, a precautionary Boil Water Advisory has been put in place for residents in these areas until all tests can verify that the water system was not compromised in any way. Water should be boiled for three minutes. Media notification will be provided as soon as the Boil Water Advisory can be removed.  As well, the Boil Water Advisory that has been in place since last weekend remains in place until further notice for the more than 1,800 residential customers of the South East Kelowna Irrigation District. 


Day Access for Gallagher’s Residents

Day access is being authorized for residents of the Gallaghers Canyon Golf Course and subdivision and Field Road.  Access is granted from 12 pm to 6 pm today.   RCMP will be at the intersection of McCulloch Road and Mahonia Drive, checking for picture identification such as a drivers’ license or other ID that clearly shows the individual lives in the area.   Access is for today only and will be re-assessed tomorrow.



Attached please find a five page document that is being made available to residents returning to their homes outlining safety precautions and hazards associated with areas affected by fire, services that might be of assistance and advice on how to handle the stress of the past week and a half.


Also please find attached information about a fundraising barbecue this Saturday.