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Heat, wildfires spark preparation reminder for Okanagan residents

Environment Canada is forecasting temperatures around 30 C for the next week
The City of Vernon is encouraging people be prepared for an emergency amid wildfire season Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2023. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Midway through summer and with wildfires raging throughout the province, the City of Vernon is reminding residents to stay alert and safe in the coming weeks.

Dozens of wildfires continue to burn across B.C. and hot, dry weather has taken hold in the North Okanagan. Environment Canada is forecasting temperatures hovering around 30 C for the next week with lots of sun.

That’s why the city is encouraging residents to remain aware of the fire risk in the region and to be prepared in the event that conditions change.

“Even if there is no current threat to your home or community, make sure your household is emergency prepared,” said Sue Saunders, Vernon’s emergency program coordinator. “Being prepared in the event of an emergency situation, means one less thing to do at the time of an emergency.”

The city says emergency preparedness begins with three simple steps:

1. Know the risks that are specific to the community and region

2. Make a plan with everyone in your household

3. Get an emergency kit to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours in an emergency

“Some preparation now will help you respond quickly and make it possible to help not just yourself and your family, but the community too,” said Saunders.

Here are some emergency tips from the city:

• Review your household plan, including pre-planned meeting places to go to in an emergency

• Make a plan for your pets

• Scan important documents to a secure location

• Create a checklist of important items you use everyday (i.e., medications, contacts or other personal items)

• Familiarize yourself with your home insurance, including your Additional Living Expense clause

• Pre-register with Emergency Support Services with your BC Services Card via the Be Evacuation Prepared – Register with ERA (Evacuee Registration & Assistance) tool. The ERA tool link can be found at the bottom of the Evacuee Registration and Assistance webpage on the Province of British Columbia’s website:

To learn more about emergency preparedness plans and other steps you can take to prepare for an emergency, visit

Residents can also stay up-to-date on emergency notifications from the City of Vernon in case of a wildfire. flood or hazardous materials incident by signing up to receive notifications through Alertable at

READ MORE: New wildfire sparked near Enderby, human caused

READ MORE: Wildfire outside Kamloops expected to see increased activity due to wind

Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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