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‘How do I find the words’: Kelowna’s mayor speaks to wildfire response

Mayor Tom Dyas began Monday’s (Aug. 28) regular council meeting by recognizing the resilience of the community in the face of the Walroy Lake wildfire.
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Kelowna Mayor Tom Dyas took time during council’s Aug. 28 regular meeting to thank firefighters, first responders, emergency service personnel and other for their efforts amid the wildfire crisis in the Central Okanagan. (City of Kelowna/video)

Mayor Tom Dyas began Monday’s (Aug. 28) regular council meeting by recognizing the resilience of the community in the face of the Walroy Lake wildfire.

“On behalf of myself and my council colleagues, I want to express our sincere gratitude for everyone’s patience and understanding while we dealt with the fire conditions over the last several days,” he said. “We also express our condolences to everyone who lost their home. We as a community need to be there to support you.”

Dyas thanked firefighters, the RCMP, first responders, emergency support services volunteers and many others for their efforts.

“How do I find the words, how do we find the words as a council to properly thank you for putting your lives on the line day after day, hour after hour to ensure the safety and well being of our residents. The level of support and coordination of the emergency response has sincerely humbled me and all of my council colleagues.”

Dyas then read a long list of fire departments from around B.C., thanking them for responding to Kelowna in its time of need.

He also recognized that the last several days have been trying and frustrating for many in the community.

“But all the while you thought of others during this tremendously difficult time. The outpouring of residents wanting to help in anyway they could was truly inspiring. You are a testament to our community spirit. When times are tough we will always pull together to support each other in Kelowna.”

The mayor also thanked emergency services and city staff, along with First Nations and government officials at every level for their support and leadership.

“Together we got through the worst of the wildfires, because when times are tough, we always pull together to support each other,” Dyas added.

READ MORE: ‘We will rebuild our neighbourhoods’: Mayor of Lake Country message

READ MORE: Significant damage in West Kelowna Estates/Westside Road from McDougall Creek wildfire


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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Journalist and broadcaster for three decades.
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