Okanagan Mountain Fire Watch

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Netherlands Orchestra Holds Fundraiser (September  30 - 9:17 am) 
The ‘Winkler Prins Harmonie’ (WPH) from Veendam (The Netherlands) is organizing a benefit-concert this Saturday in Veendam.  The goal of the concert is to raise money for the Kelowna and Area Okanagan Fire Recovery Trust Fund. The musicians aged 12 – 20 were in Kelowna in May 2002. They have lasting memories of the visit and want to assist with relief efforts.

“Winkler Prins Harmonie” is the orchestra of “Winkler Prins” in Veendam, a large comprehensive school with tradition for culture. The orchestra consist of about 60 (former) pupils, teachers and (ex-) staff members of the school. The conductor is Jack Horst, a former pupil of the school. He has been part of the orchestra since its foundation in 1977. In 2002 WPH celebrated its 25th anniversary by going to Canada for a concert tour.

Carrs Landing Fire (September  29 - 8:49 am) 
The entire Lake Country fire department was called out to an early morning blaze Sunday at 17611 Angus Road in Carrs Landing. The Ministry of Forests was also on the scene of the five a.m. fire which was fully contained in a few hours. Hundreds of litres of diesel fuel for a generator somehow caught on fire in an underground shed. The fire had also spread to the grass in a nearby gully but crews also quickly brought that blaze under control. Officials say no other structures were ever in danger.


Fire Near Westbank Yacht Club (September  28 - 5:00 pm) 
A small grassfire erupted near the Westbank Yacht club at about 3 pm Sunday.  Firefighters had the 100 square foot fire under control within half an hour.  


Keremeos Housefire (September  28 - 5:00 pm)
A home just west of Keremeos on highway 3 was destroyed by fire Saturday night.  Fire fighters responded at 11 pm.  It took over an hour to get the difficult blaze under control.  Fire fighters remained on the scene until 3 am.  A power line over the structure complicated fire fighting efforts.  No one was injured in the fire.

Kelowna and Area Okanagan Fire Recovery Society Update (September  28 - 5:00 pm) 
Recently, there have been articles which have posed questions in respect to the distribution of funds by the Kelowna and Area Okanagan Fire Recovery Society. We thought it useful to send a letter which provides some further details in respect of the status of the society and the steps that it is undertaking to address the needs of the community.

The society was formed in order to receive donations which were being made for the purpose of assisting in the recovery of the City of Kelowna and surrounding areas, arising out of the impact of the recent Okanagan Mountain Park forest fire.

To date, the society has received direct donations of approximately $160,000. In addition, it is expected that the society will receive the net sale proceeds of the T-shirt sales undertaken by the Kelowna volunteer fire department.

Although it is not yet known for certain, it is expected that total donations available for the society to distribute will be in the range of $400,000 to $500,000.

In addition, you should know that our society has received no funding from the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the Yellow Ribbon Campaign or any other fire relief funds that may have been established to assist fire victims. In addition, we have no role in directing the distribution of funds from other agencies.

In addition to direct donations, the society met with and is co-ordinating its efforts with the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation Canada which, as you know, has distributed some funds directly to certain families that have been identified at this stage as having needs that are not met through other sources. These efforts have been done in conjunction with the society and in a process that was suggested as a result of meetings that have occurred between our respective societies.

Although $500,000 may seem to be a substantial amount of money, the society is very concerned that it ensure the relatively limited amount of funds available are used for the best possible purposes. Accordingly, we are undertaking a process designed to determine the needs of the community and will, upon conclusion of this review, decide, as a board, the specifics of the distribution of funds. The process of considering the needs is not yet complete and no decisions have yet been made. The society is working in conjunction with the City of Kelowna Recovery Centre, which is undertaking an unmet needs assessment. The preliminary results of that assessment have been provided to the society. In addition, the society has formed a sub-committee for the purpose of preparing a list of other possible recipients of the funds. We have also met with the Friends of the South Slopes, the Okanagan Mission Residents Association and others involved with efforts to rebuild the Myra Canyon trestles.

The society has also had a number of very useful discussions with the Central Okanagan Foundation, which also has funds to distribute, and we fully expect that our two societies will work co-operatively.

The society board is made up of 14 individuals that represent a broad spectrum of our community. We are fully mindful of our responsibility to fairly and equitably distribute these funds.

However, we expect that requests for funding will far outstrip the limited funds that we have available to us. As such, we expect there will be a number of difficult decisions that will have to be made.

Although the society is mindful that there is a desire that funds be distributed as soon as possible, it is very important that the relatively limited amount of money that is available to the society be distributed in a manner that does the greatest good.
If you wish to have input to the manner of distribution of the funds, we would welcome any such input. Please send your suggestions in writing, by way of email, to: [email protected]

David Rush, chairman,
Kelowna and Area Okanagan
Fire Recovery Society,

Kelowna Concert Connection (September  28 - 8:49 am) 
Officials say as many as 20,000 people attended Saturday's Fire on the Mountain concert in Kamloops. The benefit concert was put on to raise money and spirits for recent fire victims in the North Thompson area. The line up included rockers Matthew Good and Michelle Wright. The concert was free but organizers hoped generous donations would make up most of the proceeds. Matthew Good said "I think the one thing fire victims should know is a lot of people from Vancouver are thinking of them." Good added he'll be donating his concert earnings, between $5,000 and $10,000 after expenses, to Interior B.C.'s fire victims. Several of Good's friends and family were forced to evacuate as the Okanagan Mountain Park fire destroyed nearly 250 Kelowna homes in late August.


Forest Fire Review  (September  28 - 8:49 am) 
Premier Gordon Campbell says the review of this summer's forests fires will be independent, open and quick. He says the person heading the review will not be part of government and may not even live in the province. Campbell says B.C. did well in fighting the fires but things can always be done better.

Traffic Request - Please Avoid Fire Impacted Areas   (September  25 - 5:00 pm) 
Traffic volumes are becoming a problem for residents of the areas impacted by the Okanagan Mountain Park fire.

There are a number of additional vehicles in these areas as a result of the fire and recovery/rehabilitation efforts that are now underway. In addition people travelling slowly as they view the fire's impact are adding to the traffic volume and causing delays. Many of the subdivisions have winding roads and limited passing opportunities which exacerbates the problem.

As a courtesy to those in the fire impacted areas, the City requests that those without business in the immediate vicinity remain away. The public's co-operation is appreciated.

Wood Waste Disposal Options in  Fire Impacted Areas  (September  25 - 5:00 pm) 
The City of Kelowna has established a program for the disposal of trees and wood waste burned and felled during the Okanagan Mountain Park Fire. Property owners should contact the Recovery Centre at 520 Bernard Avenue, 868-2632, to obtain detailed information on the options available. The Centre is open Monday to Friday from 8 to 6, and on Saturdays from 9 until 4. The information is also available on the City's website: www.city.kelowna.bc.ca 

Okanagan Mountain Park Fire 100% Contained (September  20 - 8:21 am)

Ministry of Forestry – The Okanagan Mountain Park fire is now 100 per cent contained.  Fire size as determined by Global Positioning System is estimated to be 25,912 hectares.  The fire perimeter is 197 kilometers.

Fire fighters have made good progress in the mopping up of hot spots, infra red scanning technology is helping firefighters detect any residual hot spots that are not clearly visible.  Mop up and patrol will continue for the next few weeks and possibly until late fall.  Smoke may continue to be visible within the fir perimeter and will be monitored.

Planning and implementation of fire rehabilitation work is currently underway.  The initial phase involves rehabilitation of public and private lands affected by fire control activities.  This includes activities such as restoring natural drainage patterns, water barring fireguards and trails and grass seeding exposed soil.    

The public is reminded that  Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park and Myra-Bellevue Protected Area remain closed until further notice. Specific park and protected area closures, campfire bans and other restriction information can be obtained from park facility operators or the B.C. Parks Web site at www.bcparks.ca

For more information on the local Forest Service restrictions, closures and campfire bans, see the Ministry of Forests Protection Branch Web site at http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/protect/ or contact the local forest district office. For tourism information, contact 1-800-hellobc.
  Full Press Release.

More Parks Re-open – Bear Sightings (September  18 - 9:42 am)  
Six more Regional Parks are open for public use.  Parks staff has finished their risk inspections and removed any potential hazards in Three Forks, Eain Lamont, Gellatly Heritage, Glen Canyon, Mount Boucherie and Rose Valley Regional Parks.   Earlier this week they re-opened Mill Creek, Mission Creek, Kalamoir and the Woodhaven Nature Conservancy.  They were among 12 Regional Parks that were closed over the summer because of the threat of fire.

Even though we’ve had some rain, ground conditions are still dry.  Residents using any park are asked to use extreme caution and they should stay on trails.  Please don’t smoke in natural areas and if you do smoke, please ensure all smoking materials have been completely extinguished and safely discarded. 

Parks staff is assessing the damage sustained in two parks by the Okanagan Mountain Park fire.  As a result, both Bertram Creek and Cedar Mountain remain closed as they contain many hazards and are not safe. 

With the start of the Kokanee-salmon spawning season, there have been many bear sightings, particularly along the creeks in Mission Creek Regional Park and Hardy Falls Regional Park.  Park users can reduce potential conflicts by staying well away when a bear is spotted, traveling in a group, making noise or carrying something that makes noise (like a bell) while on hiking trails or along paths near any creek where fish are spawning.  Full press release.


Continuous Web Coverage

Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival October 3, 7:00 pm at the Kelowna Community Theater. The Best Films from the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival will be appearing. Come experience the thrill of the outdoors and experience some of the world's best films documenting outdoor adventure, landscape and mountain culture. Don't Miss It!  Location: Kelowna Cost: $12 adv $14 door 
(September  29 - 4:30 pm)

Teresen Gas
will waive the $300 reconnection fee for homes destroyed in the fire.  They will also refund charges for gas not used when gas was shut off in evacuated areas.  See www.teresen.com for more info.
(September  29 - 12:05 pm)

The Grapes at St. Hubertus can't be used for wine this year after all.  The crop is a total loss - although they are insured.  St. Hubertus will buy grapes from other growers this year. (September  29 - 12:05 pm)

Two Days For Donations: There are still two days left for anyone who lost their homes during the Okanagan Mountain Park fire to pick up donations. New clothing, children's toys, cosmetics and cookbooks are available at the Recovery Centre office at 520 Bernard Avenue until six o'clock Tuesday. The donations were supplied by Sport Chek, Toys 'R' Us, Avon Canada Inc.and Company's Coming. (September  29 - 8:49 am) 

The KVR Passport Co. of Beaverdell would like to thank all the people who have purchased restoration t-shirts as a way to support the Myra Canyon Trestles Restoration. We have raised over $1300.00 so far, and we have lots more t-shirts for sale. $15.00 plus tax.  Visit http://www.kvrbiketrailpassport.com  You can also donate to the trestle restoration directly at http://kvr.acromedia.com  (September  29 - 8:46 am) 

A small grass fire broke out yesterday afternoon around 2:15 pm between Peachland and Summerland near Greata Ranch.  The three hectare fire was quickly brought under control.  Thanks to Devin Smith submitted these photos to us. (September  26 - 8:55 am) 

Three students at Okanagan Mission Secondary School are putting together a book with pictures of the fire for a class project.  They would like people to submit their pictures along with permission to use them for the project.  The pictures can  be sent to [email protected] (September  25 - 10:55 am) 

A meeting has been organized by former members of The South Slopes Residents Association for anyone from The City of Kelowna, all affected areas, who have been "impacted" by the Okanagan Mountain Fire. It will be held on Monday, October 6th. at 7:00 P.M. The location will be The Cedar Creek Community Centre, at the corner of Chute Lake Rd. and Chute Lake Crescent in "The Mission". The meeting will be for residents to openly discuss their emotions, feelings , ideas, etc. and where to go from here. The press is please asked not to attend. (September  25 - 10:47 am) 

David Nesbitt has created some Windows desktop wallpaper (1024 X 768) to commemorate the fire.  (215K JPG) (September  25 - 10:47 am)   

Paul Martin will be touring the Kamloops and Kelowna fire affected areas today with Premier Campbell.  There will be a a press conference at the enterprise way fire station at 12:30 today. (September  24 - 9:47 am)  




Donate Online, by Phone, at Bank

Red Cross 1-800-418-1111  (Funds Use Note)
Salvation Army 1-800-SAL ARMY
Myra Canyon Trestle Restoration
Acro Media Salvation Army Donation

Okanagan Fire Recovery Trust Fund - Any Scotiabank branch in Canada to account number 80150-00058-19.  See press release for more information.

Myra Canyon Trestle Restoration Fund: Please make a cheque payable to "The City of Kelowna" and indicate "Myra Canyon Trestle Restoration" in the memo area.  Mail or drop off the cheque to 1435 Water Street Kelowna BC V1Y 1J4. You can also donate online.

The Central Okanagan Foundation
has a fire relief fund.  See full press release.





AWIS Thermal Maps:
Okanagan Mountain Park
  (JPG 1.2MB) (PDF 2.0MB)
(Sept 8 - 1 am)
   Vaseux Lake
       (JPG 966K) (PDF 2.7MB)  
(Sept  2)

        AWIS Thermal Maps Archive

Time lapse AWIS Thermal Maps Small (GIF 388K) Large (GIF 1MB). 

Local close up thermal images Link

Kettle Valley Railway Map (Map 1 JPG 42K) (Map 2 GIF 87K)

NASA Realtime Satellite Images Pixel size: 1km | 500m | 250m (Sept 2)  Main Site Link   See also Link.

Map of Kelowna Link 1, Link 2, Link 3

Idabel Lake & Area  Map 1, Map 2, Map 3 

Virtual Tour of Fire Affected Areas

Incomplete Map of Fire Damaged Areas Aug 24 (PDF 322K)

Map of re-entry stages 1 through 7. (PDF 621K)


Current Evacuation Alert & Orders

All Evacuation Alerts in place due to the Okanagan Mountain Park fire were rescinded  Friday September 12th, by the Office of the B.C. Fire Commissioner.  EOC Press Release.

The backcountry travel restriction has been rescinded. Full Press Release.


Okanagan Fire Recovery Centre

520 Bernard Avenue  (next to the old Royal Bank building)

open 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday to Friday
open 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday

• 868-2632

Services in the Okanagan Fire Recovery Centre include:
• Damage assessment
• Agency referral
• Demolition permit information
• Building permit information
• Sewer connection and septic tank permit information



Agency Links

City of Kelowna Fire News
Interior Health
Provincial Emergency Program
CORD Regional Emergency Plan
BC Forests Wild Fires
RCMP News Releases
Kelowna Weather
Air Quality Index

Find your water provider  Black Mountain Irrigation
Federal Disaster Relief
Terasen Gas
Highway Report
DND - Operation Peregrine


Important Phone Numbers

Public Information Line 868-2632

Report a Fire 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on your cell to Forestry Officials

Red Cross Assistance 763-1859 ext. 215

Provincial Emergency Information Line 1-800-311-7044

Terasen Gas 1-877-711-8877

Black Mountain Irrigation District 765-5169

Wildlife problem 1-800-663-9453

Ambulance  860-0054 if 911 is busy


Special thanks to Rackforce who have been turbo powering our site on four load balanced servers on their  multi-homed network. 
We also thank Rackforce and Shaw Cable (Big Pipe) for their generous bandwidth donation
so that we can bring you continuous up to date Internet coverage of the fire.