Wildfire destroys Peachland homes

Summerland pulls together for emergency shelter for fire evacuees

  • Sep. 11, 2012 1:00 p.m.

Three homes in Peachland and an abandoned home in the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area were destroyed by the Trepanier Forest Fire.

The fire, which started on Sunday afternoon, grew to cover 200 hectares.

Approximately 1,550 people from Peachland were evacuated, with another 432 placed on evacuation alert.

Firefighters from neighbouring fire departments, including Summerland, responded to the blaze. In addition, B.C. Forestry crews attended.

Approximately 65 structural firefighters and 70 firefighters from the B.C. Wildfire Management Branch attended.

On Monday evening, around 1,134 residents who had been evacuated were allowed to return home as the evacuation order was reclassified to an evacuation alert.

Mayor Janice Perrino said Summerland provided assistance during the wildfire.

In addition to firefighters who were in Peachland to battle the blaze, Alida Erickson and John Topham set up the Emergency Social Services centre at the Summerland Arena.

Along with Dale Kronebusch from the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen, they organized around 25 volunteers and helped to place almost 200 families into hotels in Summerland and Penticton.

“Everyone worked as a team,” Perrino said. “They were organized and calm. They had about an hour to get ready and this was their first major fire event to handle.”

Food, drinks and snacks were contributed by Nesters, True Grain Breads and Murray’s Pizza.

 

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