While most parts of our region are buried under snow Elkford is thinking of wildfire preparation.
Mayor Dean McKerracher says they learned many lessons last September when the district and surrounding properties were put under an evacuation alert due to a pair of raging wildfires moving toward the community.
McKerracher says as they were executing emergency response plans they realized it took a lot longer than they thought for staff to get the word out to residents.
He explains many of their residents are seniors and don’t easily access the internet and social media, so the district may need set up volunteers who are ready to join any effort in the future and help go door to door.
Many members of the public raised questions at a subsequent town hall meeting, like who can help loved ones on oxygen or in a care facility?
McKerracher says they are continuing to plan with Interior Health and BC Ambulance to find a solution to these matters.
Elkford has its own emergency response plan as well as one coordinating with the Regional District of East Kootenay.
The Mayor does note last summer’s incident proved the district has the ability to battle wildfires in-house if the roads were closed.
He explains the district has back up power to the Conference Centre and back up water and sewage pumps.
McKerracher adds they are able to move residents into the Conference Centre and arena in the case of an evacuation.
– Elkford Mayor Dean McKerracher