Vancouver TALK #20: Disaster Management Up Close and Personal; West Kelowna Wildfire 2023

#talk #life

Speaker: S. Carl Zanon, Senior Member, Chair LMAG of IEEE Vancouver Section

Registration is optional, but we want to know who to expect.
10:00 AM P.D.T. You can log in at 9:45 AM (12:45 PM Montreal) to check connection and say hello.
All IEEE members are welcome, especially those Life Members that don't have a local Affinity Group.

We are looking for speakers for 2024. Contact Carl Zanon <> if interested.

  Date and Time




  • Date: 16 Dec 2023
  • Time: 09:45 AM to 11:00 AM
  • All times are (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)
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  • Starts 05 December 2023 05:00 PM
  • Ends 16 December 2023 09:30 AM
  • All times are (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)
  • No Admission Charge


Carl Zanon of IEEE


Disaster Management Up Close and Personal; West Kelowna Wildfire 2023

The McDougall Creek Wildfire was a wildfire in the Central Okanagan region of British Columbia that started 10 kilometers north of the City of West Kelowna on Tuesday, August 15, 2023.  As a North wind drove the fire across a mountain towards West Kelowna, firefighters were rapidly deployed to contain the fire while local communities were put on an evacuation alert.

Two days later - on Thursday, August 17 – there was a sudden shift in wind direction and strength, from the North to the West. In just a few hours a strong West wind increased the intensity of the wildfire into a raging firestorm which blew large embers across Okanagan Lake igniting new fires in Kelowna.

Over the following three days, 61 communities in British Columbia provided resources to combat a wildfire disaster which was declared as a Provincial Emergency on August 18th and included evacuation advisories.

Around 5 pm on August 17th Carl Zanon and his wife were evacuated to the Glenmore area of Kelowna. Some six hours later, around 11 pm, there was a second evacuation with Carl and family members moving to Lake Country  where thousands were housed and fed by local services.

Two videos will be presented during TALK #20, one summarizing the events described above and the other featuring the West Kelowna Fire Chief, Jason Brolund, speaking to the United Nations Assembly.


Carl graduated from UBC's EE class, 1959. He was a student member of the AIEE/IRE, 1957 and a member of IEEE member 1963.  He has an extensive background in electrical engineering, consulting, and  senior management. Over the course of his career, Carl held positions in five provinces and worked abroad, 11 years in the State of Massachusetts.

In 1968 Carl received his MBA from Northeastern University, Boston, MA.

After Carl's retirement, he entered the consulting field with the Business Development Bank of Canada. He applied concepts from his co-authored manual "Advancing Production Management with Standard Cost and Operational Analysis".

In addition, Carl was an instructor of the "Situational Leadership©" series at the Okanagan College from 2002 to 2016.

Address:Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


9:45 AM Zoom opens
10:00 AM Welcome and speaker introduction
10:05 AM Speaker