Penticton’s mayor, John Vassilaki penned a public letter Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020 to express gratitude for all those involved in fighting the Christie Mountain wildfire. (City of Penticton photo)

COLUMN: Penticton mayor thanks those battling wildfire

The Christie Mountain wildfire remains active with minimal growth

The following is a public letter from Penticton mayor John Vassilaki:

Penticton is one of only two cities in the world that is situated between two lakes.

Every summer we enjoy great natural amenities and some of the hottest temperatures in Canada. And while all these features make us a fantastic year-round destination, our beautiful setting comes with the risk of fire.

This last week, we witnessed how different agencies of government can come together in an emergency to protect ourselves, families and homes when disaster strikes. We saw how residents and businesses rallied to support their neighbours and work with firefighters.

And so while this past week was filled with worry, this week I am filled with immense pride.

READ MORE: BC Wildfire continues suppression efforts on Christie Mountain blaze

On behalf of Penticton city council and all our residents, we are incredibly thankful to everyone and all agencies who helped us during this challenging time. I also want to thank the media who regularly assisted our Emergency Operation Centre in getting information out, not only to our residents and businesses, but to everyone who cares about Penticton.

The response to last week’s fire was led by professional firefighters from the Penticton Fire Department and BC Wildfire Service.

Together, their coordination and quick response avoided the devastating blow that other communities have recently suffered by fires.

We collectively owe them a tremendous thanks. Also active were members of Emergency Support Services (ESS).

This critical team of volunteers sets up our reception centres and coordinates important services like transportation, temporary lodging, food, clothing and emotional support. Like many non-profits, the demand for ESS supports can quickly exceed their supply of volunteers. If you’re able and have time to help, I encourage you to take up the call to serve this important organization.

Finally, I wish to give a big thanks to everyone in the evacuation alert area who remained informed and prepared to leave. Whether as individuals or families, by planning our emergency departure in advance, we collectively contribute to our community’s overall success when responding to the real threat of fire that surrounds Penticton every summer. Thank you for getting ready…and working together to stay ready.

John Vassilaki is the mayor of Penticton.

READ MORE: Majority of Heritage Hills evacuees set to go back home

READ MORE: Operations resuming to normal in Penticton: Interior Health

bcwildfire

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Hate will not be tolerated:’ Vernon mayor

City, groups speak out against racism-promoting flyers spread around town

Two taken to hospital after logging truck rolls over near Lumby

Single-lane alternating traffic is in effect on Lumby-Mabel Lake Road near Birch Road

Police block off Kalamalka Lake Road in Coldstream due to incident

RCMP responded to early-morning report of man in distress, road to be closed for “several hours”

Vernon college students seek harvesting help in Coldstream

Volunteer apple pickers are needed for a project that turns unused fruit into snacks for children

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Mitchell’s Musings: Predictions, politics and pandemics

Columnist Glenn Mitchell offers some random thoughts on current affairs

RCMP seize guns, drugs, motorhome from Okanagan residence

Search warrant executed in relation to an ongoing investigation into drug trafficking

Lessons from a pandemic: How to design a nursing home that’s safe and love-filled

A look at how one care home is battling the pandemic with the social needs of the elderly in their care

Winter tires, chains now mandatory along most B.C. highways

Drivers without the proper winter tires – which must also be in good condition – can be fined $109

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Documentary to celebrate the Shuswap’s music scene

Local initiative to feature several of the region’s artists

Guns seized in relation to southeast Kelowna murder investigation

RCMP seized several firearms from a West Kelowna home on Tuesday

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

Most Read