A helicopter flies near the Christie Mountain wildfire near Penticton. (BC Wildfire Service)

A helicopter flies near the Christie Mountain wildfire near Penticton. (BC Wildfire Service)

Operations resuming to normal in Penticton: Interior Health

Interior Health announced operations are back to normal as evacuation alerts are lifted

Operations at local health sites are now back to normal as evacuation alerts are lifted in Penticton.

Interior Health (IH) first announced special precautions last week in response to the Christie Mountain wildfire, which threatened properties in the South Okanagan.

Part of the precautions IH took included:

  • Reducing capacity in nearby hospitals throughout the region to ensure in-patients could be absorbed from Penticton Regional Hospital if needed
  • Intensive care unit (ICU) patients from Penticton were transferred to Kelowna General Hospital to ensure their care continued
  • Alternate locations were identified for 513 people living in IH and private long-term care homes
  • IH connected with mental health and substance use clients, as well as Home Health and dialysis clients living within the evacuation alert zone to provide support should they need to relocate
  • Surgical procedures were rescheduled and replaced with day procedures to reduce hospital capacity
  • Braemore Lodge residents were relocated

“Evacuations and alerts are stressful for everyone impacted by wildfires and this year, COVID-19 makes our planning even more complex and challenging to navigate,” IH president and CEO Susan Brown said.

“Thank you to everyone in the community for coming together to support one another and to all of our incredible staff and physicians who put precautionary measures in place to ensure we were prepared for the worst.”

IH thanks the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS), the City of Penticton and the B.C. Wildfire Service for their support.

For more information on returning home after a wildfire, visit this site. Information on food safety once you return home after a wildfire can be found here.

READ: Penticton rescinds evacuation alert


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
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