Penticton’s mayor, John Vassilaki penned a public letter Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020 to express gratitude for all those involved in fighting the Christie Mountain wildfire. (City of Penticton photo)

COLUMN: Penticton mayor thanks those battling wildfire

The Christie Mountain wildfire remains active with minimal growth

The following is a public letter from Penticton mayor John Vassilaki:

Penticton is one of only two cities in the world that is situated between two lakes.

Every summer we enjoy great natural amenities and some of the hottest temperatures in Canada. And while all these features make us a fantastic year-round destination, our beautiful setting comes with the risk of fire.

This last week, we witnessed how different agencies of government can come together in an emergency to protect ourselves, families and homes when disaster strikes. We saw how residents and businesses rallied to support their neighbours and work with firefighters.

And so while this past week was filled with worry, this week I am filled with immense pride.

READ MORE: Operations resuming to normal in Penticton: Interior Health

On behalf of Penticton city council and all our residents, we are incredibly thankful to everyone and all agencies who helped us during this challenging time. I also want to thank the media who regularly assisted our Emergency Operation Centre in getting information out, not only to our residents and businesses, but to everyone who cares about Penticton.

The response to last week’s fire was led by professional firefighters from the Penticton Fire Department and BC Wildfire Service.

Together, their coordination and quick response avoided the devastating blow that other communities have recently suffered by fires.

We collectively owe them a tremendous thanks. Also active were members of Emergency Support Services (ESS).

This critical team of volunteers sets up our reception centres and coordinates important services like transportation, temporary lodging, food, clothing and emotional support. Like many non-profits, the demand for ESS supports can quickly exceed their supply of volunteers. If you’re able and have time to help, I encourage you to take up the call to serve this important organization.

Finally, I wish to give a big thanks to everyone in the evacuation alert area who remained informed and prepared to leave. Whether as individuals or families, by planning our emergency departure in advance, we collectively contribute to our community’s overall success when responding to the real threat of fire that surrounds Penticton every summer. Thank you for getting ready…and working together to stay ready.

John Vassilaki is the mayor of Penticton.

READ MORE: BC Wildfire continues suppression efforts on Christie Mountain blaze

READ MORE: Majority of Heritage Hills evacuees set to go back home

bcwildfire

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Morning Start: Night Owls Tend to Be Smarter Than Early Birds

Your morning start for Monday, Sept. 21, 2020

Ear-to-ear smiles for Kelowna woman’s 75th birthday surprise

Helen Bellinger’s early 75th birthday celebrations involved a cluster of bright yellow smiley-face balloons

Former Kelowna cop faces fourth lawsuit alleging sexual assault

Ex-Mountie Brian Mathew Burkett is also separately facing seven charges of breach of trust

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

Quirky Canadian comedy ‘Schitt’s Creek’ takes Emmys by storm with comedy sweep

Toronto-raised Daniel Levy and Ottawa-born Annie Murphy both got supporting actor nods

‘Fed bears are dead bears’ Okanagan residents warned

Several bears spotted near Okanagan Rail Trail, and getting into garbage

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

B.C. unveils new cannabis sales programs to help small, Indigenous growers

Government did not say how it will define small producers, but says nurseries will be included in the policy

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Squabble over mask policy at LUSH in Kelowna mall

The woman filmed the encounter at LUSH Cosmetics, where wearing a mask in-store is company policy

Cops For Kids ride wraps in Okanagan

No pomp, no circumstance for end of milestone 20th anniversary fundraising bicycle trip

Province opens ‘middle income’ housing in Kelowna

Prices on the units are $1,300 for a one-bedroom and $1,780 for a two-bedroom, nearing area-average prices

Most Read