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: BC Wildfire continues suppression efforts on Christie Mountain blaze

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: Majority of Heritage Hills evacuees set to go back home

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

bcwildfire

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

Just Posted

Playground reopens at Vernon’s Polson Park

No more standing water, park reopens just in time for summer’s end

New group home for Vernon

Howard House to be replaced by new development

Stolen vehicle recovered from site of Vernon manhunt for wanted man

Police return to Brooks Lane in response to reports of suspicious vehicle

Kelowna Liberal MLAs respond to ‘opportunistic’ snap election call

‘We have a fixed election date for a reason: so politicians like Mr. Horgan can’t try to arrange election dates when it suits political parties’

Kelowna filmmaker launches fundraiser for ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ fan movie

Donations will go towards the production of ‘The Sawyer Massacre’

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

16 COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health region

One person is in hospital and 34 people are isolating

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Truck, Shuswap police vehicle collide during arrest of wanted man

Emergency response team and helicopter called out to assist in Chase area arrest

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Shuswap search and rescue crew respond to dirt biker injured on Mount Ida

North Vancouver man transported to hospital for treatment of injuries

Popular South Okanagan cafe shuts its doors

Saint Germaine Cafe and Gallery served its last latte Sept. 19

Kelowna woman to run from Vernon to Penticton for mental health awareness

Melissa Gosse’s 100-kilometre ultramarathon will raise funds for Canadian Mental Health Association

Most Read