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Kelowna  

Forum on floods, fires

Climate change and extreme weather in the Okanagan will be the subject of a forum on fires and floods.

The community water forum will take place Nov. 21 at the Okanagan Innovation Centre in Kelowna, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

"Our emergency response systems are being tested like never before with wildfires, flooding and drought increasing in frequency and intensity," organizers say.

"Fire, smoke, flood, drought are becoming a new reality in the Central Okanagan and across the entire Northern Hemisphere." 

An expert panel of local and provincial speakers will discuss what is needed to restore balance for a more sustainable future.

The keynote speaker is Ray Crampton, district manager with the Okanagan Shuswap Natural Resource District. He will discuss "The New Normal: 21st Century Disaster Management in B.C” as well as the independent review of the 2017 flood/wildfire seasons and the government's action plan.

The expert panel also includes: 

  • David Scott, Associate Prof. UBC Okanagan (Effect of Wildfires on Soils)
  • Mathieu Bourbonnais, Assistant Prof. UBC Okanagan (LiDAR data/spatial analysis/remote sensing for fire/flood response; former forest firefighter)
  • Leif Burge, Adjunct Prof. UBC Okanagan; senior associate, fluvial geomorphlogy, with Stantec (flood response)
  • Denise Neilsen, recently retired research scientist, Summerland Research and Development Centre (climate change modelling expert); Okanagan Basin Water Board water stewardship council chair

The forum is hosted by UBC Okanagan in partnership with the Okanagan Basin Water Board. The event is free and open to the public.  



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