Thompson Okanagan Wildfire Update

August 5, 2019

Thompson Okanagan Wildfire Update

With the summer well underway and hot, dry conditions present across the entire region, the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) have enacted our Emergency Plans in response to present wildfire activity.

There are currently two wildfires of note in the region, including the most recent Eagle Bluff Fire, which is active approximately 10 km southeast of Okanagan Falls. It is an estimated 120 hectares in size with 6 helicopters mobilized, 22 personnel on-site and an additional 80 to arrive throughout the day. The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen Emergency Operations Centre (RDOS EOC) has issued an Evacuation Alert for several properties in Electoral Area “C.” Campers have been advised by Search and Rescue that they, too, are under alert and should be prepared to evacuate. At this time, there are no highway closures in effect.

The Richter Mountain Fire, 14 km south of Cawston, was discovered on July 24 and is presently at 403 hectares in size. According to the BC Wildfire Service, the fire is showing a low level and activity and suppression efforts are underway. A previous Evacuation Alert has been rescinded at this time.

TOTA has been monitoring the situation closely and Crisis Communications Coordinator, Rob Grifone, has been in working with BC Wildfire Service to ensure we have the most accurate and up-to-date information. TOTA is working collectively with the Oliver Tourism Association, Destination Osoyoos, and Travel Penticton and we will continue to stay informed and work with our local community DMO’s to assist them with anything they may need.

The safety of both our industry and guests is always our number one priority and we are on hand to answer any questions or address concerns you may have. A reminder that, although these circumstances can bring negative media attention, we encourage you to remain positive in your message, and to use clear, accurate, and up-to-date information from official resources only. We have provided a list below for your reference, and we will continue to send out emails with updates as they become available.

First responders and emergency personnel are doing an incredible job and we are grateful for their tireless effort and service to our communities and surrounding areas. Our thoughts are with everyone currently affected and we encourage you to reach out at let us know how you’re doing and how we may be able to support you at this time. All information and updates can be sent to Rob Grifone at crisismgmt@totabc.com.

There are many resources available to assist affected areas and real-time information for those looking for updates or to best inform their guests. These can be found here:

  • The BC Wildfire Service has a list of Wildfires of Note as well as an Interactive Map of all active wildfires across the province. They also release the latest wildfire information on their Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  • Emergency Info BC has a provincial Twitter account with up-to-date information about current wildfires and other emergencies in BC.
  • Drive BC provides information about road closures and delays, posting updates on Twitter and website.
  • Environment Canada is the resource for the latest weather information, statements, and air quality advisories.
  • The provincial website has up-to-date information about fire bans and restrictions throughout the region.
  • To report a wildfire or irresponsible behaviour call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 from a cell phone.

Sincerely,

Glenn MandziukPresident & CEO
Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association

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