News Release No. 76            

Date:   Friday September 5, 2003

Time:   6:30 a.m.


PRC RECEPTION CENTRE:                                     762-5361

PUBLIC INFORMATION LINE:                                 869-0386

RECOVERY CENTRE OFFICE:                                868-2632

EMERGENCY SOCIAL SERVICES (EOC):             868-2605





Firefighting Ranks Bolstered


It's a bonus when forecast winds don't materialize!


Such was the case last night, as winds remained relatively calm, not pushing the Okanagan Mountain Park forest fire any closer to homes on the southeast section of Kelowna.


City fire crews and those supporting them from neighbouring municipalities continued their routine patrols of evacuated and other areas.  They quickly snuffed out a few small spot fires.  Some crews also pre-treated houses in a few areas with fire retardant gel.


As Emergency Preparedness officials planned for gusty winds, they requested more support from out of the region to help with the possible fire fighting effort.  Trucks and crews from municipalities around the province have again started to return to Kelowna.  It's expected by later today that 40 units will have arrived from local fire departments throughout B.C.  They'll assist City of Kelowna and neighbouring fire crews through the weekend taking pro-active measures and pre-planning houses that should be treated with gel, should the fire spread toward them.


All Evacuation Orders and Alerts remain in effect today.  An estimated 3,200 people remain out of their homes in the Gallagher's Canyon, Joe Rich, McCulloch Road, southern end of June Springs Road, McCulloch Lake and south west of the City boundary to Stewart Road West.   There hasn't been any change in the Day Pass Re-entry situation for these residents.  Once fire officials survey the status of the fire this morning and consider today's possible weather impact on the fire, this will be reviewed.


More than 15,000 other residents of Kelowna and the Regional District of Central Okanagan remain on Evacuation Alert.  9,600 people living in the Belgo, Black Mountain, Toovey Heights and upper southeast Kelowna areas were put on Alert yesterday afternoon.


Customers of the Black Mountain Irrigation District are reminded that a Boil Water Advisory is in effect until further notice.


Under a Boil Advisory water should be brought to a rolling boil for a minimum of two minutes, then be allowed to cool, prior to drinking, making juice or food preparation. Bottled water is a good option for those who prefer not to boil their water.


The Irrigation District has had to remove its chlorine cylinders from the BMID water treatment works due to the forest fire threat. Without chlorination water entering the service grid will not be adequately disinfected.


This Boil Water Advisory does not apply to customers of Rutland Water Works.