After three months of supporting wildfire-impacted residents in the Central Okanagan, the McDougall Creek Wildfire Resiliency Centre is set to close its doors and wrap up operations on Friday.
The centre opened on Aug. 31, two weeks after the discovery of the McDougall Creek wildfire, providing one point of contact to help residents navigate the wildfire recovery process. The centre has been a partnership between the RDCO, Westbank First Nation and the City of West Kelowna, including participating agencies as part of the unmet needs committee.
“Since opening its doors, the Resiliency Centre has served over 400 individuals and their families, completed 84 unmet needs assessments and conducted more than 700 referrals for immediate support,” said Travis Kendel, acting director of RDCO engineering services.
“The collaborative efforts of government staff, volunteers, social support organizations and the unmet needs committee have been instrumental in rebuilding lives and facilitating a smoother recovery process.”
At the peak of the centre's operations, it had 12 agencies under one roof: The Salvation Army, Samaritans Purse, WorkBC, Gore Mutual, Intact Insurance, Personal Insurance, St John’s Ambulance, First Nations Emergency Services Society, Disaster Psychosocial Support, Canadian Red Cross, Services Canada and Service BC, many of which provided specific support to impacted residents.
"The generosity of the business community that strengthened Resiliency Centre operations by donating space and office equipment is greatly appreciated," says Kendel.
"The efforts of all volunteers and organizations involved are also sincerely appreciated."
Those still requiring assistance and support can find help online, including information about the development permit process information for RDCO residents and a reference list of services through local partners and non-profits.