Date: Monday September 8, 2003
Time: 7:00 p.m.
PRC RECEPTION CENTRE: 762-5361
PUBLIC INFORMATION LINE: 869-0386
RECOVERY CENTRE OFFICE: 868-2632
EMERGENCY SOCIAL SERVICES (EOC): 868-2605
BC FOREST SERVICE FIRE INFORMATION: 1 888 336-7378
CAUTION REGARDING FIRE RETARDANT GEL
Approximately 40 families returning to their homes today found their houses coated with a protective barricade gel, applied as a fire retardant during the Okanagan Mountain Park fire. These homes are primarily in the June Springs and McCulloch Roads areas. The white substance appears as a gel or dry residue.
The Office of the BC Fire Commissioner and the Emergency Operations Centre advise residents that this product is slippery and caution should be used on all walking surfaces in the areas where the gel has been applied, such as decks, sidewalks, driveways, porches and steps. Rain and the addition of any moisture will increase the slipperiness of this gel, even if the product has dried. Homeowners are advised to remain off roofs.
While homeowners may wish to remove the product from walking surfaces, they are advised to be careful when doing so. They should wear footwear with proper gripping soles and exercise extreme caution.
The gel can be removed by spraying it off with a normal garden hose and nozzle, and thoroughly rinsing the area. Alternatively, once the gel is dry it can be swept or brushed off and disposed of along with regular garbage. IF YOU CLEAN YOUR PROPERTY BE SURE THE GEL DOES NOT GO ONTO ANY WALKING SURFACE, SUCH AS THE SIDEWALK.
It is recommended that homeowners leave the product in place on house walls and roofs, until all danger from this fire has passed and the Fire Commissioner's Office has advised that the gel may be removed. At that time instructions for removing the gel will be available at the Okanagan Fire Recovery Centre, 520 Bernard Avenue.