Photographer Douglas Drouin captures the Christie Mountain wildfire above homes in Heritage Hills on Aug. 18.

EDITORIAL: Preparing for wildfires

Wildfires have come close to populated areas this summer

A wildfire burning near Penticton has resulted in thousands of people facing evacuation orders and alerts, as the fire has come close to some populated areas.

Earlier this month, another wildfire, this one near Princeton, resulted in an evacuation alert for 43 nearby properties.

These are not the only times when residents of the Okanagan and Similkameen have had to leave their homes because of wildfires.

READ ALSO: UDPATE: Winds increase around Christie Mountain wildfire

READ ALSO: Penticton Search and Rescue called into action as Christie Mountain wildfire sparks

Earlier this summer, another fire near the Sage Mesa area just outside of Penticton resulted in residents leaving their homes for a time.

In 2017 and 2018 — the worst fire seasons on record in British Columbia — many residents took the time to prepare in case the fires came too close to their homes.

And in previous years, wildfires resulted in evacuation alerts and orders affecting homes throughout the region.

Those who were in the area during the summer of 2003 will remember the devastation of the wildfires that year, some of them coming close to major centres.

Wildfires can and will occur in the dry areas of the British Columbia Interior, and at times, these fires come close to populated areas.

Almost every community in the B.C. interior has been affected at one time or another.

While emergency centres are quickly set up when a fire or another disaster occurs, it is important for residents to be prepared. Sometimes a fire can present a threat with little advance notice.

This is why those living in interface areas are urged to have a grab-and-go bag packed.

And while outlying areas have been affected in the past, it also makes sense for others living in the southern interior of B.C. to take similar measures.

When a disaster happens, preparation time is a precious, and often scant factor. Think ahead.

— Black Press

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