Mcdougal Creek wildfire Resiliency Centre to close operations: RDCO
After an eventful three-month recovery response supporting wildfire-affected residents, the McDougall Creek Wildfire Resiliency Centre is set to wrap up its operations on November 17. The Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) Board received a report detailing the Centre's activities during their meeting on November 16.
The Centre opened on August 31, just two weeks after the discovery of the McDougall Creek wildfire, providing one point of contact to help residents navigate the wildfire recovery process. The Centre has been an important partnership between the RDCO, Westbank First Nation and the City of West Kelowna, including participating agencies as part of the unmet needs committee.
“Since opening its doors, the Resiliency Centre has served over 400 individuals and their families, completed 84 unmet needs assessments and conducted more than 700 referrals for immediate supports,” said Travis Kendel, Acting Director of RDCO Engineering Services. “The collaborative efforts of government staff, volunteers, social support organizations and the unmet needs committee have been instrumental in rebuilding lives and facilitating a smoother recovery process.”
At the peak of operations, there were 12 agencies: The Salvation Army, Samaritans Purse, WorkBC, Gore Mutual, Intact Insurance, Personal Insurance, St John’s Ambulance, First Nations Emergency Services Society, Disaster Psychosocial Support, Canadian Red Cross, Services Canada and Service BC, many of which provided specific support to impacted residents.
The generosity of the business community that strengthened Resiliency Centre operations by donating space and office equipment is greatly appreciated. Additionally, the efforts of all volunteers and organizations involved are also sincerely appreciated.
Moving forward, online resources remain available for reference through rdco.com/recovery. Demolition and development permit process information for RDCO residents and a reference list of services through local partners and non-profits are accessible. Residents seeking support services are encouraged to contact local agencies directly.