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Vacationers welcome to Osoyoos during wildfire, says mayor

Know before you go and be prepared in the event of evacuations though
Approximately 250 to 300 students and adults gathered outside of Penticton’s city hall to participate in the global Climate Strike championed by Swedish environmental teen activist Greta Thunberg in 2019. The message advocated by attendees was clear, they want climate action now. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

The town of Osoyoos is open for business and welcoming vacationers, said the mayor.

But know before you go, said Sue McKortoff.

Visitors to the community should be prepared in the event of an emergency, she said. The Nk’Mip Creek wildfire is still active in the area although several campgrounds and Spirit Ridge Resort have opened back up since being evacuated.

“I’m pleased that 150 firefighters from outside the country and across Canada are here to help fight this fire,” said McKortoff on Monday.

A tent city to host firefighters is being set up in the infield of Desert Park in Osoyoos, said McKortoff. BC Wildfire’s Incident Management Team will also be set up from the park.

“These firefighters will be with us for three to four weeks. We are very happy to have them here.”

Nk’Mip campgrounds and Spirit Ridge have invited guests and residents back in after being evacuated from the Nk’Mip fire last week. Motels and hotels in town are also currently open.

Visitors to Osoyoos are encouraged to prepare in advance:

• Have a backup plan should roads close, or power be lost

• Check DriveBC as roads are subject to closure due to the current wildfire situation affecting Highways 3, 5 and 97

• Consider preparing an emergency ‘Grab and Go Kit’

• Be prepared to leave if required — Emergency Social Services offers assistance to residents subject to an evacuation order. Tourists who are able to leave are not eligible for assistance

Boaters are encouraged to stay off Osoyoos Lake, as there are aircraft working on and around the lake providing firefighting operations support.

Desert Sunrise Marina remains closed for boat launching until further notice.

Visit the BC Wildfire Dashboard to ensure the area you are traveling through is safe.

Check with your hotel before departing and visit Destination Osoyoos for updates on what’s open in Osoyoos.

READ MORE: State of emergency lifted for Oliver, dump opens

READ MORE: Campers and Spirit Ridge, Burrowing Owl evacuated

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Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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