West Kelowna  

Neighbourhood hosts fire preparedness day May 4

Casa Loma preps for fires

Organizers are hoping a large segment of those living within West Kelowna's Casa Loma neighbourhood come out for a wildfire preparedness event next month.

The event coincides with Wildfire Preparedness Day, a national initiative to encourage people to take action to increase their resiliency to wildfire. It's held the first Saturday in May each year.

This year's wildfire preparedness event in Casa Loma will be held at Dupuis Park starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 4.

Event organizer John Martin says this is the third year the event has been held in the community.

"We gather the community together in order to transfer information on FireSmart initiatives and the resiliency they can achieve by preparing their property for wildfire issues and decreasing fire load around their property," Martin says.

"We also go through the procedures as far as if there is any type of alert or evacuation, basically what to take with you in terms of a grab-and-go bag.

"The procedures as far as what to do if there is an alert. If you are challenged in any way you might want to leave the area during that alert even though it is not required."

If people have a place to go, Martin says they urge people to consider leaving during the alert stage rather than getting caught up in the congestion and panic associated with evacuation orders.

Martin says these are all good reminders, especially for people who still don't have an understanding of the phases of a wildfire evacuation and how best to prepare for those.

The FireSmart representative from the West Kelowna Fire Department will be on speak to speak to those in attendance about making their homes more fire resilient and taking questions.

Martin says about 60 people attended last year but hopes more will turn up this year because of what happened last year with the McDougall Creek fire.

Information concerning the second egress the city is presently constructing for the neighbourhood will also be made available.

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