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West Kelowna to say thank you to wildfire responders

Honouring wildfire heroes

Final preparations are underway for a wildfire responder gratitude event next weekend in West Kelowna.

The Okanagan Responders Gratitude Event takes place Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Memorial Park.

Last August, the McDougall Creek wildfire scorched 13,500 hectares of forest and destroyed 191 buildings before being brought to heel by crews.

“Now, it's time for our community to formally express our deepest gratitude,” say event organizers.

The day will include a “walk of heroes,” an official ceremony and performances by local artists.

The event kicks off shortly after 10 a.m. with the walk of heroes, led by West Kelowna fire chief Jason Brolund and the local firefighter honour guard. First responders from all regions will take part.

Following the ceremony, participants are invited to enjoy a complimentary barbecue sponsored by Emmanuel and Evangel Churches.

Live music starts at 12 p.m.

"The event will be one of reflection, appreciation, celebration, and recognition for the responders and volunteers who played a crucial role in helping our community during the 2023 wildfire season, and I’m excited to be a part of it,” said Brolund.

The event is free to attend with donations going towards the West Kelowna Professional Firefighters Charitable Society.

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