A children's summer camp on Westside Road has announced it has been destroyed by the McDougall Creek wildfire.
The Okanagan Anglican Camp (Camp OAC) has operated on the waterfront near the Wilson's Landing fire department since 1950, with a mission of meeting the needs of all who seek God in a natural environment.
Camp director Ian Dixon said Monday the McDougall Creek wildfire destroyed over 90% of the infrastructure at the camp.
“While we haven’t been able to physically visit the camp, we have received images taken from the water that reveal the extent of destruction. The dining hall, staff quarters, residence building, crafts and program building and the dock have been completely destroyed,” he said.
“In the distance, we can see that the near bathroom, showers and cabin 1 are still standing which showcases the randomness and power that fire can bring. This wildfire has caused so much destruction to our community and we are grateful all campers and staff were safely evacuated. We also share our gratitude, thoughts and prayers for all those working to fight these fires while many are dealing with loss themselves.”
With more than 70 years in the community, Camp OAC says they will rebuild what is “so much more than just a summer camp.”
“While Camp OAC has been built around a physical location, the OAC family and legacy transcends its boundaries and we know our community will step up in a generous way to help the camp heal and rebuild,” Dixon said, who added “the camp has never been about the buildings.”
“It’s always been about the people and the gifts they bring to create such a remarkable place.”
Dixon says that a formal rebuilding campaign will be needed, but many have already reached out wanting to donate.
“This will ensure the full amount goes toward helping the camp rebuild,” Dixon said.
“We know the rebuilding process will take time but we will take it one step at a time. We hope the community will support us and we will work tirelessly to rebuild the magic that is Camp OAC.”
On Monday, North Westside fire chief Ross Kotscherofski said structural losses were sustained on Westside Road as far north, and including, the Lake Okanagan Resort, but no further. He noted Wilson's Landing was amongst the most impacted areas.