Interior Health supporting evacuees returning to Village at Smith Creek in West Kelowna

August 28, 2023

Interior Health has begun to support the return of long-term care residents to Village at Smith Creek now that threat of wildfire associated with the McDougall Creek wildfire has been reduced.

Repatriation will occur gradually and carefully to ensure appropriate staffing and resources are in place when residents return to their homes. Interior Health is working with our partners in the delivery of long-term care services to keep families of residents informed as repatriation planning progresses.

Families will be notified directly as their loved ones are moved back. Anyone wishing to confirm their loved one’s current location can call 1-833-469-9800. Hours of operation are Monday to Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Messages can be left after hours for a call back.

Interior Health supported the proactive relocation of 186 residents of Village at Smith Creek on Aug. 19 to neighbouring communities due to wildfire activity in the Central Okanagan.

As localized alerts and evacuation orders are rescinded, a dedicated team will continue to lead the complex planning work of repatriating residents and clients to their homes.

Interior Health proactively relocated nearly 900 people from nine seniors care homes due to the threat of wildfire. Four seniors care homes have already begun repatriating residents home.

Interior Health continues to support the wildfire response in our region, and our heartfelt thanks goes out to our care partners in neighbouring health authorities, first responders, community volunteers and local and provincial governments.

Those requiring support are encouraged to call the BC Crisis Line at 310-6789.

Watch: Residents of Lakeview Lodge return home following evacuation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gn7eYY4MVgQ

Everyone is reminded to make preparations for wildfires, and smoky skies as air quality deteriorates by visiting: https://www.interiorhealth.ca/health-and-wellness/natural-disasters-and-emergencies/wildfires

Install the BC Wildfire Service mobile app (Android or iOS) or visit the BC Wildfire Service Dashboard to find information on current wildfire activity: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status

The FireWork Forecast shows maps of predicted smoke impacts over the next 48 hours: https://weather.gc.ca/firework/

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