While there are not currently any wildfires of note in Kelowna or the Central Okanagan, smoke from wildfires across BC is impacting our region and the current fire danger rating throughout the Okanagan Valley is high or extreme. These conditions not only impact the health and safety of residents and visitors but can have a direct economic impact on accommodations and attractions in our area, which will be another hit to our local tourism industry as they work to move through COVID-19 recovery. Working together as an industry to inform visitors about current conditions and to educate them on wildfire prevention will be important as we move through the summer season.
What We Are Doing
Tourism Kelowna’s role is to promote overnight visits and tourism spending in Kelowna and surrounding areas. While we can't control smoke from wildfires, as your destination marketing organization we do:
- Assess impact and share market information.
- Promote accurate, real-time information to potential visitors.
- Connect current visitors with the wide array of tourism experiences that are not weather dependent.
Our visitor experience team and the Kelowna Visitor Centre play a vital role in promoting visitor spending and encouraging longer stay times in market by answering questions and providing recommendations via phone, email, social media, and live webchats. We have also compiled information on our website about fire prevention and safety, which we share regularly through a variety of channels, including social media.
In the event of a wildfire in our region, we will activate our communications response plan and work in close collaboration with industry, government, and tourism marketing partners to collaborate on messaging and response.
How You Can Help
- Share the link to our Current Conditions in Kelowna webpage, which includes a live feed from our webcam located at the Kelowna Visitor Centre, and to our Outdoor Safety webpage.
- Post a photo or video of residents and visitors at your business and tag it #RealTimeKelowna. Include the date and time the image or video was taken so visitors can see the many activities they can enjoy in Kelowna no matter what the weather.
- Tag your content and social media posts with #exploreKelowna so we can amplify them when possible.
- Share information and updates about your business with our Visitor Experience Team so they can keep visitors, and residents, informed.
If you have questions or need further information about Tourism Kelowna's marketing and communications activities during wildfire season, please contact Chris Shauf at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (250) 861-1515 ext. 203.
The following links are also found on our Current Conditions in Kelowna and Outdoor Safety webpages referenced above:
- Road Conditions: DriveBC website
- Air Travel: Kelowna International Airport (YLW) website
- BC Wildfire Information: BC Wildfire Service website and interactive map. Report a wildfire or irresponsible behaviour by calling 1-800-663-5555 or using *5555 from a mobile phone.
- Wildfire Prevention: Government of BC Prevention Resources
- Responsible Camping: Camper's Code
- Air quality: BC Air Quality Index
Local Emergency Info
- Central Okanagan Emergency Operation Centre (subscribe to EOC e-updates here).