News Release No. 58
Time:   3 p.m.
PUBLIC INFO LINE:                          869-0386
PRC RECEPTION CENTRE:            762-8646
RED CROSS INFO LINE RE EVACUEES:          1-888-350-6070
PROVINCIAL INFO LINE:                       
              1-800-311-7044

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Adjusters and insurance company representatives are now permitted to enter all areas affected by the Okanagan Mountain Park Fire in the Regional District of the Central Okanagan and the City of Kelowna, for the purpose of assessing losses and addressing hazards on private property.  Documentation showing evidence of insurance company representation will be required at road blocks and security check points.

Insurers are urged to coordinate with their clients regarding management of insured losses.

All persons, including insurance professionals, in the fire-affected areas are reminded hazards may be present, especially in burned structures and in treed areas.  Extreme caution should be exercised in all fire-affected areas.  Insurance professionals are strongly advised to take these hazards into consideration and proceed appropriately.

Fire tape is in place in many locations in the impacted areas.  The fire tape is there as a visual indication of hazards but no security is in place to restrict access.  Safety and security of private property remains the responsibility of property owners.

It is recommended that property owners and insurers only grant access to those persons with a need to be on the affected property.

The fire tape may be removed at the discretion of the property owner, however it is recommended that the tape remain in place as a visual reminder of the potential danger. It may be appropriate for property owners to consider other means of securing their properties.

Property owners are advised to retain the services of a certified arborist to evaluate the safety of all trees on private property, and to consult building professionals to assess structural hazards resulting from fire-impacted buildings.

Typical hazards that result from wildfire and structure fires include:

        Danger trees (trees without branches that fall silently, other falling trees)

        Dangerous structures (chimney remains and  other structural components)

        Non-visible collapse risk areas such as ash pits and compromised septic systems

        Visible open holes and pits

        Hot or burning materials (hot areas may continue for several weeks following a fire the magnitude of the Okanagan Mountain Park fire)

        Downed electrical lines

        Hazardous materials

        Sharp objects

        Wildlife and reptiles (pushed out of their normal habitat into the City including bears and rattle snakes)