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Salmon Arm mayor urges residents to be prepared, stay calm as wildfires threaten

Mayor emphasizes the need to be prepared now even if measures are never needed
Mayor Alan Harrison asked Salmon Arm residents prior to the Aug. 16 morning meeting of the city’s planning committee to stay calm and be prepared as wildfires expand in the region. (File photo)

Stay calm, be prepared and work together to stay safe.

Salmon Arm Mayor Alan Harrison emphasized this message for residents Monday morning.

“It seems difficult to just go ahead with normal operations and a normal meeting agenda given what’s happening outside the rooms that we’re in,” Harrison said at 8 a.m. Aug. 16, prior to starting the city’s planning and development services meeting. “And I appreciate staff, councillors and the media getting word out to our residents to stay calm and to be prepared. I think that’s the message we want to continue to get out.”

He noted that currently there are no alerts or orders for the City of Salmon Arm, but residents need to think about what could happen.

“We may never need to use our preparation, but now is the time.”

He also reiterated the need to support each other.

“I think the other message we need to get out is that BC Wildfire Service and Shuswap Emergency Program are working cooperatively with city fire departments like ours, and we’re working together, and regardless of our political stance or status we need to work together with our neighbours, with all levels of government, all people who are doing their very best to keep us safe.

“Later this morning, (Columbia Shuswap Regional District board) chair (Coun. Kevin) Flynn and myself will be visiting the EOC (Emergency Operations Centre) and the ESS (Emergency Social Services) and we have made regular visits there. Those people are doing an outstanding job and need the support of everyone at this time to continue.”

Read more: Motorists urged to keep North Okanagan highways clear for fire evacuees

Read more: Significant structure loss on Westside due to White Rock Lake wildfire
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Martha Wickett

About the Author: Martha Wickett

came to Salmon Arm in May of 2004 to work at the Observer. I was looking for a change from the hustle and bustle of the Lower Mainland, where I had spent more than a decade working in community newspapers.
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