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Kelowna RCMP stop duo who forced their way behind fire line

Additional officers arrived in the Central Okanagan Saturday
RCMP officers meet at a roadblock after evacuating the Wilden neighbourhood near Knox Mountain due to a wildfire burning above homes, in Kelowna, B.C., Friday, Aug. 18, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Kelowna RCMP is reminding the public to stay out of wildfire evacuation zones.

At a regional wildfire briefing this morning (Aug. 19) Supt. Kara Triance said two individuals tried to force their way back into an evacuated area and were escorted out by officers.

She did not disclose the location but added there have been several reports of people loitering behind barriers and security checkpoints.

“If you are ordered to leave, you’re lawfully obligated to do so,” explained Triance. “Sending our law enforcement and emergency personnel back into evacuated areas to assist people to get out is a great risk to our officers and first responders.”

She encouraged the public to report any suspicious activity.

“I can assure you right now that we have no confirmed break and enters at this time. If you see something, say something.”

As of this morning, 44 additional officers were stationed in the Central Okanagan, coming from Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland and the North District.

“To ensure that we can provide an appropriate and coordinated regional response to this fire,” said Triance. “We greatly appreciate the chiefs of police in all those communities who have released their officers to assist us.”

She said police officers continue to carry out door-to-door alert and evacuation notices, secure emergency exit routes, and perform static and roving patrols.

Triance also had several reminders for the public including boaters to stay out of the way of firefighting aircraft and keeping personal drones away from wildfire areas.

“We have had multiple reports of drones flying through emergency areas,” she said. “If a drone is in the area, you will ground a helicopter. It is illegal to fly a personal drone in an emergency situation where we are fighting fires.”

READ MORE: Community leaders urge calm and patience as crews battle Okanagan wildfires

READ MORE: Further evacuation alerts for Lake Country wildfire


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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Recently joined Kelowna Capital News and WestK News as a multimedia journalist in January 2022. With almost 30 years of experience in news reporting and radio broadcasting...
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