Soldiers may be in Princeton for two to three weeks, and will be visiting town. Photo Andrea DeMeer

Military arrives in Princeton to help mop up Cool Creek wildfire

Soldiers have also worked on the Gottfriedsen Mountain and Juliet Creek fires

The Canadian Armed Forces marched into the community of Princeton Friday afternoon to establish a camp for approximately 110 soldiers who are backing up the efforts of the BC Wildfire Service.

The personnel are assigned to mop up duties on the Cool Creek fire, which is burning out of control 20 km northeast of Eastgate.

“Our job is to be that second line of support,” said Major James Anderson, commanding officer. “We are soldiers, not firefighters…but I can roll up a hose if you show me how to roll up a hose.”

Soldiers were previously stationed near Merritt, and have worked on the Gottfriedsen Mountain and Juliet Creek fires.

The military’s contribution allows firefighters to address more aggressive areas of the blaze, according to Noelle Kekula, BC Wildfire information officer.

“They are helping us with mopping up and patrolling and it’s just more boots on the ground to help us increase the black line around that fire,” she said.

“There’s a job for every firefighter out there so it will definitely free us up so we can put our BC resources in other areas.”

Cool Creek is measured at 12,685 hectares and took suppression crews by surprise Thursday with increased activity.

Related: Seasonal cabins threatened by Cool Creek blaze

“[Fire] columns started interacting and building off of each other. Fire creates its own wind and its own environment. We saw behaviour in all sites of the fire,” said Kekula.

“The good news is that it still stayed within our planned boundary, our planned control area. It did challenge us in areas and it did jump a few guards that we had, but it’s still in our bigger planned area where we are expecting it to go.”

Friday there were 106 firefighters and other personnel actioning the blaze, supported by heavy equipment.

Tents were rising quickly Friday afternoon at the Ground Search and Rescue property located adjacent to the Princeton airport.

Anderson said Princeton may be home to the armed forces for two to three weeks.

“The soldiers are not confined to camp, so you will be seeing some folks in town.”

Related: B.C. ends state of emergency, 485 wildfires still burning

To report a typo, email:
publisher@similkameenspotlight.com
.



andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Major James Anderson, commanding officer. Photo Andrea DeMeer

Just Posted

Vernon CMHA launches dialogue series about youth suicide and opioid crisis

Events will be held in Vernon, Armstrong and Lumby.

Group plans North Okanagan chapter of Kidney Foundation

Eight members form group; plan to take part in several North Okanagan events for awareness

The Health Nest open for business in downtown Vernon

Vernon’s newest and centralized health centre opened Monday, Jan. 14

Cloudy water warning issued for Killiney Beach residents

The RDCO has issued a warning for residents

Vernon Junior Vipers fill net

Atom Development C team scores 19 goals in pair of Okanagan weekend hockey victories

VIDEO: Car flies across median, flips over edge of B.C. overpass

Dash cam footage shows vehicle speeding across Brunette Avenue overpass in Coquitlam

Indigenous energy summit includes session on pipeline ownership options

Steven Saddleback of the Indian Resource Council says a session will feature presentations on financing models

Japanese grand champion Kisenosato retires from sumo

The 32-year-old Kisenosato was the first Japanese-born wrestler in 19 years to gain promotion to sumo’s highest rank

UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

Right-wing, neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups an increasing concern: Goodale

Ten people died in April 2018 when Alek Minassian allegedly drove a rental van down the busy stretch in Toronto

Canadian stock exchanges to conduct lottery for ‘POT’ ticker amid high demand

The symbol became available after fertilizer Potash Corp. officially merged with Agrium Inc. in early 2018

Millennial Money: Don’t let Instagram envy get you into debt

A full 48 per cent of U.S. households have credit card debt

Jury debates fate of man accused of killing 12-year-old B.C. girl 40 years ago

Police allege Garry Handlen told a cop how he abducted, sexually assaulted and strangled Monica Jack in May 1978

Most Read