Okanagan mayors and fire chiefs gathered in Lake Country to plan for a dry summer | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

Would you like to subscribe to our newsletter?

Kelowna News

Okanagan mayors and fire chiefs gathered in Lake Country to plan for a dry summer

Lake Country Mayor Blair Ireland talks as district Fire Chief Darren Lee looks on.
Image Credit: Okanagan Basin Water Board

The weather has been cooler and the valley has seen some rainfall, but the Okanagan is still facing a potential drought this summer and the accompanying wildfires. Mayors and fire chiefs from the Okanagan got together in Lake Country to discuss ways to be proactive when it comes to water conservation.

The Okanagan Basin Water Board helped organize the meeting at the Lake Country Lakestone Villas to launch its annual “Make Water Work” campaign, according to a press release from the board.

Lake Country’s mayor and the board’s chair Blair Ireland is urging the public to conserve water this summer.

“We don’t know how the weather is going to line up this summer,” he said in the release.

The board’s communications director Corinne Jackson said as wildfire seasons get worse it is more important to conserve water and be proactive.

“The reason we are meeting today at Lakestone Villas, is because of the story it tells and the one we need to learn from,” Jackson said in the release. “This complex is a fabulous example of doing it right. It shows us how a community that follows WaterWise and FireSmart principles can save water and withstand fire, even as flames surround it. As we experience hotter and drier summers, and as our population increases, the importance of being WaterWise and FireSmart is becoming very clear.”

READ MORE: PULL THE PLUG: Transporting boats in BC with drain plugs in now illegal

Lake Country’s fire chief Darren Lee said conserving water, following building codes, and choosing plants that require little water to thrive is part of preparing for wildfire season.

“You end up with this nice combination of low water use, beautiful neighbourhood, and from the get-go it’s firesmart,” Lee said in the release. “There’s only so much volume available… It’s not a limitless supply of water.”

He said last year community firefighters ran out of water and had to get water trucked in from the other side of town.

“I did see some things on social media where people were commenting on dry hydrants… I don’t think they were dry hydrants. I think they were hydrants that someone had exhausted the reservoir to,” Lee said.

This year the board created a list of plants that don’t need much water; the Make Water Work Plants Collection. The board started making the plant list back in 2014, and now there are 105 plants of different varieties that can be found in nine garden centres from Osoyoos to Armstrong.

“New this year, we have worked with FireSmart BC to ensure our list not only meets WaterWise standards, but is FireSmart too,” Jackson said.

Click here to find out more about how to conserve water and the list of WaterWise and FireSmart plants.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jesse Tomas or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. SUBSCRIBE to our awesome newsletter here.

News from © iNFOnews, 2024

  • Popular vernon News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile