The City of Penticton has prepared this webpage as a central resource for information and updates involving active wildfires.
For the present 2021 wildfire season, there are currently no threats to City of Penticton residents, City facilities or City infrastructure. In the event a threat is identified, this page will be updated.
Use the following resources for updates.
- Subscribe for email updates from the City of Penticton
- Download the City of Penticton app for updates straight to your cellphone (available from Google Play or the App Store)
- Facebook: follow City of Penticton – Municipality
- Twitter: @cityofpenticton or @pentictonfire
- RDOS website, Facebook and Twitter
For information about the status of the wildfire, please look to the BC Wildfire Service.
Prepare for an Emergency
Residents affected by the Evacuation Alert are asked to stay calm and prepare to leave their homes as required. An Evacuation Alert is intended to allow people time to prepare their identification documents, medications, change of clothes and make plans with family members so they can leave their homes quickly and safely.
Download this helpful Wildfire Evacuation Checklist chart for last-minute steps. Important: You do not have to turn off your household electricity or air conditioning and do not turn off the gas during an alert. If you turn off the gas now, the gas company may have to reconnect it, which may take time.
During an evacuation alert, you are also encouraged to pre-register with ESS (Emergency Support Services) over their website.
Get prepared to leave your home on short notice. Get your 72 Hour Emergency Kit ready. Visit the Emergency Preparedness page for a list of steps to ensure you will be ready to leave if needed at a moment's notice.
If an evacuation order is given, residents must:
- Leave the area immediately.
- Follow the directions of emergency responders and travel the designated or safest route available.
- Self-register as an evacuee with Emergency Support Services (ESS) by visiting https://ess.gov.bc.ca/. If you do not have access to the Internet, go to 199 Ellis Street, Penticton, BC.
- COVID-19 protocols are in place. If you have symptoms or are self-isolating, please do not attend the reception centre. Call 8-1-1 for direction.
- Shut off all gas and electrical appliances, other than refrigerators and freezers. Technical Safety BC offers some great tips involving what to do with your electrical and gas.
- Close all windows and doors.
- Please store your Fire Arms in accordance with Section 118 of the Fire Arms Act.
- Close gates (latch) but do not lock.
- Gather your family and if you have room, take a neighbour or someone needing transportation. Do not use more vehicles then you have to.
- Take critical items only if they are immediately available:
- Government issued ID
- Valuable papers (e.g. insurance, credit, and mortgage information)
- Immediate care needs for dependents
- Take pets in pet kennels or on a leash.
- Pet owners and hobby farmers with concerns for their animals: Contact Animal Emergency Response Team (ALERT) at 250-809-7152.
- Farmers who require assistance call the RDOS EOC.
- Do not use the telephone unless you need emergency service.
Are you at risk of being evacuated due to wildfire? Here are some last-minute actions you can take. Also download the FireSmart evacuation checklist.
Note: You do not have to turn off your household electricity or air conditioning and do not turn off the gas during an evacuation alert. Technical Safety BC offers some great tips involving what to do with your electrical and gas.
Emergency Support for Evacuees
If you have been forced from your home, you may receive Emergency Support Services (ESS) for up to 72 hours, including temporary lodging, food and clothing among other specialized services.
To receive these services you must register with the Provincial ESS. Registering online through their Evacuee Registration Assistance program page is the most efficient way to register.
An Emergency Support Services (ESS) Reception Centre has been opened at 199 Ellis St in Penticton for those who face an Evacuation Order.
The City would like to encourage residents who live within the Evacuation Alert area to register online with ESS. Please do not go in person to the Reception Centre unless you face an Evacuation Order.
If you have received an Evacuation Order, you can opt to register with ESS over their website, which takes less than five minutes, rather than visiting the Reception Centre.
The ESS is a community-based provincial emergency response program designed to assist those affected by an emergency or disaster, whether that be a single house fire or a major disaster involving mass evacuations.
In British Columbia, local authorities must coordinate the provision of food, clothing, shelter, transportation and medical services to victims of emergencies and disasters, whether that provision is made from within or outside the local authority.
The goal of ESS is to help people begin to re-establish themselves as quickly as possible after a disaster.
ESS is generally available for a maximum of 72 hours. During these first 72 hours evacuees should immediately plan their next steps by contacting their insurance agents, families and friends or accessing other possible resources. Emergency Management BC (EMBC) may extend ESS under exceptional circumstances.
Primary services provided by ESS are:
- Temporary lodging (these are determined on a case-by-case basis)
- Clothing and incidentals (such as toiletries)
Specialized services that may be coordinated on a case-by-case basis:
- Emotional support
- First aid and other health services
- Pet care
In many cases, homeowners or tenant insurance held by the evacuees will provide greater support than what is available through this program. If you are evacuated, please consult with your insurance provider to determine what may be available to you.
There are specific condition requirements to be eligible for these supports. For example, if you are self-sufficient (such as having appropriate insurance or the means to support yourself for those first 72 hours), you would not be eligible for ESS.