RCMP increasing presence in Okanagan amid wildfire crisis

Kelowna, Southeast District

2023-08-19 18:15 PDT

In response to the escalating wildfire conditions in the Okanagan region, a substantial contingent of RCMP officers from across the province is mobilizing to provide critical support to the affected communities. Residents can expect to witness a notable influx of RCMP personnel from various detachments and specialized units.

These officers, being seconded from a range of sections within the Division, will be dispatched using diverse transportation means, including airplanes. Among the deploying personnel are members from the BC Highway Patrol, Indigenous Policing Services, Tactical Troop, and other specialized and frontline units from within BC. There are also additional resources deploying from the Federal level.

Their primary responsibilities encompass aiding with evacuations, safeguarding evacuated regions, ensuring secure evacuation routes, and offering operational relief to local detachments. In addition, proactive patrols will be conducted to deter any potential criminal activities.

RCMP increasing presence in Okanagan amid wildfire crisis

To sustain core policing operations in these communities, additional resources are being allocated. Furthermore, to ensure seamless coordination and support within the Southeast District, several Emergency Operations Centre's (EOC’s) are now operational, offering round-the-clock logistical and planning assistance.

"Our utmost priority is the safety and well-being of our communities. As additional officers arrive to the area, we urge everyone to exercise patience, listen to instructions from emergency personnel, and drive cautiously," says Cpl. James Grandy, spokesperson for the Southeast District RCMP.

Additionally, for the safety of wildfire and emergency personnel working in the area, we strongly caution against the use of non-governmental drones. Unauthorized drone operations in the area are dangerous and unlawful. Anyone found interfering with wildfire control efforts (including flying drones or UAVs) can face penalties up to $100,000 and/or up to one year in jail.

We remain committed to public safety and community support during these challenging times.

Released by

Cpl. James Grandy

District Advisory NCO (Media Relations)
Southeast District
Office: 250-460-2398

Email: james.grandy@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

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