Evacuation centre volunteers Murray and Debra Roed stand outside of their home on Silver Place last year. Their home was destroyed by wildfire in 2003. - Credit: Carli Berry/Capital News

Resident remembers 2003 firestorm after fire starts near Kelowna

Debra Roed’s home was destroyed in the 2003 wildfire in Okanagan Mountain Park

For Debra Roed, the sight of smoke billowing out of Okanagan Mountain Park brings back memories.

Roed’s home was one of 450 homes destroyed in the 2003 firestorm that was sparked by lightning in Okanagan Mountain Park 15 years ago.

“It was scary again,” she said. “It all came back to me.”

She lived in Crawford Estates, with her husband Murray and their two young daughters, who were nine and 12 at the time.

Roed said she’s been receiving calls from friends who were under evacuation alert, asking her what to pack and what to do.

The couple was down on the coast when the wildfire sparked in the park again this year, but she said it brought back almost a PTSD-like effect of what happened during that week in 2003.

She said it seemed like the fire in 2003 was far away from their home, but before they knew it, they were packing their bags and cramming everything into two vehicles, as an evacuation order came when they were visiting friends.

Roed’s advice is to pack the essentials, ID, passports, wedding certificate, and insurance papers.

Now they live on Silver Place in Kelowna, Roed said its good to be prepared, as fire can spread anywhere in the city.

Last year, Roed and her husband volunteered at the Willow Park Church evacuation centre, helping residents who were evacuated from their homes in Joe Rich.

She said she would volunteer again, if the centres were set up.

@carliberry_
carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Kelowna Art Gallery hosts new exhibition, Poetics of Space

The exhibition can be viewed from Feb. 2 until May 5

Kelowna RCMP use spike belt to apprehend alleged car thieves

Both suspects were expected in court Thursday morning

Kelowna RCMP ask for assistance to identify suspects

The break and enter resulted in a firearm being stolen

TELUS works with YMCA for Okanagan youth

A four week employment program will assist at-risk youth

First recreational cannabis store in Okanagan has quiet opening near Lake Country

Indigenous Bloom has opened on Okanagan Indian Band land

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Hergott: Memories of crashes fade

Lawyer Paul Hergott writes about the importance of journaling after a crash

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

Remorse high for Vernon man sentenced for car surfing death

Driver of car that killed friend who was car surfing gets nine months in jail

Most Read