It’s a concern that is top of mind for people living in West Kelowna’s Casa Loma neighbourhood - an evacuation plan in the event of an emergency.
City council will get a look at the Casa Loma evacuation plan at Tuesday’s (June 14) meeting. Campbell Road is essentially the only route in and out for residents, as well as for about two-dozen homes on that road as well as Campbell Place.
Proposed developments in the area such as Sol Aqua, next to Casa Loma, and a possible 500-unit project proposed for the now-closed 19 Greens mini-golf, have put more pressure on the city to develop an evacuation plan. Residents have called for a second road to be built in the area, and the report going to council does recommend the need for a second exit.
“Commissioning of a secondary egress from the community will reduce the risk associated with the current single access/egress and make evacuation quicker. At a minimum, the route should be 3m wide, with a hard travel surface. It may be gated and the gate opened during an emergency. Alternatively, the route through Kalamoir Park could be improved in order to make it easier to pass on foot and/or UTV vehicle,” the report states.
The report presents three options in the event of an emergency:
- Option A - evacuate south to West Kelowna - via Campbell Road to Highway 97;
- Option B - evacuate north to Kelowna - via Campbell Road to Highway 97;
- Option C - evacuate in either direction - via Campbell Road to Highway 97.
It also notes that a number of initiatives have been undertaken to better prepare for emergencies, including an ongoing community-wide FireSmart program and wildfire mitigation activities. Efforts have also been made to improve emergency preparedness, specifically in the Casa Loma neighbourhood. On May 30, West Kelowna Fire Rescue, RCMP, and BC Wildfire staff drilled in the neighbourhood, reviewing the evacuation plan.