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West Kelowna schools in wildfire protocol mode from McDougall Creek fire

Steps taken for schools in evacuation zone
The McDougall Creek wildfire continues to burn north of West Kelowna. (Gary Barnes/Capital News)

As summer nears an end, preparing for school is now having added complications caused by the McDougall Creek wildfire.

Kevin Kaardal, superintendent/CEO of Central Okanagan Public Schools, said they are following the direction of the Emergency Operations Centre, which right now is providing school facilities to support the firefighting effort and provide an emergency lodging site.

“We have protocols in place and we are following that process as unfortunately (wildfires) are not something that is new to us,” Kaardal said.

As there are schools within the evacuation alert zone, Kaardal says individual school records are being secured, teaching staff are being alerted if they wish to collect personal items in their classrooms, and adjustments are being made with operational staff scheduling.

“Beyond the schools, we certainly have concerns for the safety of our staff and students who are within the evacuation areas,” Kaardal added.

“But the EOC people are experts at this so as a school district we follow their lead and do what is asked of us to be done.”

READ MORE: Evacuation orders, local state of emergency in effect due to West Kelowna fire

Barry Gerding

About the Author: Barry Gerding

Senior regional reporter for Black Press Media in the Okanagan. I have been a journalist in the B.C. community newspaper field for 37 years...
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