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North Okanagan municipalities prepared for wildfire emergency

Regional district ready for a local event; City of Vernon adds FireSmart disposal bins in 9 places
The City of Vernon has set up nine disposal bins for FireSmart yard waste throughout its boundaries. (City of Vernon photo)

The Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) is like a boy scout troop: ready and prepared.

The RDNO has alerted the BX/Swan Lake, Silver Star and Lumby fire departments that it’s ready to go should an emergency event occur. BX/Swan Lake and Lumby have already provided personnel, apparatus and equipment to assist with firefighting efforts in the Shuswap, Central Okanagan and other regions. However, the departments are still equipped should a local emergency occur.

“The three RDNO fire departments have been on heightened standby for the past week and have been completing patrols of the communities,” said the regional district. “They have also been responding to numerous small wildfires due to recent lightning strikes. They have been practicing and reviewing their structure protection programs.”

The Silver Star Fire Department purchased some new equipment this spring to improve their effectiveness, and meetings were held at Silver Star with various stakeholder agencies to develop an evacuation plan and ensure its effective in the event of an evacuation.

Plans for Silver Star, Cosens Bay and Kingfisher/Mabel Lake can be found on the RDNO website.

The RDNO continues to assist the City of Vernon, supporting the Central Okanagan Regional District with Emergency Support Services.

City adds FireSmart resources for residents

After encouraging its residents to FireSmart their properties, the City of Vernon will now add resources to help with those efforts.

Starting Friday, Aug. 25, and running until Friday, Sept. 1, Vernon residents will be able to drop their yard waste off at designated disposal bins located throughout the city.

The city deems clippings, trimmings, leaves, garden waste, pine cones and shrubs as acceptable yard waste material.

It does not include building material like wood, drywall or cement, nor household garbage and recycling.

The bins are being provided specifically for FireSmart efforts and will be temporarily located at the following locations:

• Sunset Properties, end of Kokanee Road;

• Adventure Bay, Oxford Road cul-de-sac;

• Paddlewheel Park, 7815 Okanagan Landing Road;

• Kin Beach overflow parking lot, 7001 Tronson Road;

• DND Grounds parking lot, 1451 Mission Road;

• Sawicki Millennium Park, 996 Middleton Way;

• Easthill Community Church, 3605 12th Street;

• Kin Race Track, 3501 43rd Avenue;

• Bella Vista Pumphouse, 6398 Goose Lake Road (Blue Jay subdivision area);

• Silver Star Foothills Community Park, 101 Whistler Place.

“We’re really emphasizing to residents the importance of taking action now to FireSmart their properties, if they haven’t already,” said Wes Brassard, FireSmart coordinator. “We know these actions make a difference. Together we can help reduce the risk of wildland fire and help make our community more fire resilient.”

Residents who are unable to transport their yard waste to any of the bin locations can contact Brassard for assistance:

READ MORE: UPDATE: Armstrong wildfire gets new name, some new growth

READ MORE: Boaters urged to stay off north end of Okanagan Lake

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Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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