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Posted on: May 20, 2016

Alternate Evacuation Routes Ready for Fire Season

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 2016

Alternate Evacuation Routes Ready for Fire Season

With the onset of wildfire season, the City of West Kelowna reminds Glenrosa residents that alternate emergency evacuation routes, via Jackpine, Bear Lake Main and Bear Creek Forest Service Roads, are available if needed.

City staff has traveled the routes to ensure they are clear of obstructions and well-marked with signs to assist with navigation. Staff will continue patrols throughout the fire season to ensure they remain passable. As required, the City of West Kelowna will also provide pilot vehicles to aid in navigating the winding, gravel, logging truck roads.

In the event of an emergency, residents will be advised through emergency personnel, the Regional Emergency Program website, www.CORDemergency.ca, and media, if they are under an evacuation order or alert and instructed on what route to take. The primary exit from Glenrosa is Highway 97 via the Glenrosa Road Interchange or Lower Glenrosa Road. If for some reason the primary route is impassable, residents will be advised to use an alternate route. Residents would then travel up Glenrosa Road, turn north onto Jackpine Forest Service Road (FSR) and continue onward to the junction at Bear Lake Main FSR. At Bear Lake Main they would turn east to access Westside Road or, if necessary, go west on Bear Creek FSR and Sunset Main to access Highway 97C.

New signs have also been posted reminding motorists to have at least a ½ tank of gas, and/or a 20L, safely stored emergency container of fuel, in order to travel the routes and reach the next available service station. Signs also advise that cell service is unavailable along the majority of either route.

The City of West Kelowna has posted a PDF map of the alternate routes on its website at www.westkelownacity.ca/evacuationroutes. In the event of an emergency, the map will also be posted at www.CORDemergency.ca along with maps showing the evacuation order and alert areas.

The routes were identified as emergency exits after the 2009 Glenrosa Forest Fire. They provide the fastest means back to food, shelter and Emergency Support Services assistance in West Kelowna, in the event Highway 97 is not accessible immediately to the east. The maintenance of the alternate routes, and the pursuit of a permanent secondary exit for the Glenrosa neighbourhood, remains one of West Kelowna Council’s strategic priorities.

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