Silver Star evacuation planning this week

VERNON - An excellent example of inter-agency cooperation is demonstrated by the joint planning and aerial reconnaissance initiative being undertaken by the RCMP, Vernon Search and Rescue, BX Swan Lake Fire Department and Armstrong-Spallumcheen Fire Department.

The purpose of the exercise is to get a bird’s eye view of potential emergency evacuation routes should wildfire threaten properties in the Silver Star corridor (from the Foothills to the switchbacks). The greatest risk is from a wildfire or a hazardous material spill which may prevent travel on Silver Star Road.

There are numerous bush trails and forestry roads in the area. Lack of maintenance and unknown condition however raises concerns if being relied upon for evacuations. That’s a major focus of the aerial reconnaissance by the emergency response agencies responsible for fighting fires and protecting lives.

The RCMP is providing the helicopter with lift off from the Vernon Airport scheduled for 9 a.m., Thursday, July 16.

The public is reminded to stay informed by tuning into to the media and prepared to evacuate if so directed following directions of the emergency response agency.

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