A difficult summer of wildfires in the South Okanagan kept the Penticton Emergency Support Services running for ten weeks while hundreds of properties were evacuated and on alert.
ESS worked to support BC Wildfires Services response over the summer and officially demobilized on Monday.
Activation for the centre began on Sunday, July 11, 2021 to support evacuees impacted by the Thomas Creek Wildfire near Okanagan Falls. The wildfire spread across the hills behind the town and kept on burning for over a month.
The last task was focused on providing support for White Rock Lake Wildfire evacuees over this past weekend.
Penticton ESS’ work isn’t done yet however, working with Emergency Management BC, municipalities and First Nations across the southern interior, and local businesses over the next few months to support several families who remain in the Penticton area as they continue to be unable to return home.
“On behalf of Council and all our residents, I extend a whole-hearted thanks to the ESS team and volunteers for their hard work and long hours helping those in need during this summer’s challenging wildfire season,” Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki said in a press release.
“If it wasn’t for ESS, along with all wildfire crews, our overall response would not have been effective. All residents of Penticton, and elsewhere, greatly appreciate the ESS team for their assistance, preparation and professionalism.”