Photo by Naramata Fire Rescue

Photo by Naramata Fire Rescue

Naramata firefighters diverted after fires breaches Burns Lake camp

The crew was sent to Vanderhoof after a wildfire reportedly overtook a camp near Burns Lake

Naramata Fire Rescue has assembled a team to help crews fight wildfires in Northern B.C. that have reportedly breached their own living quarters.

“The fire actually overtook a camp … They’re actually battling fire in their own sleeping quarters,” said Chief Tony Trovao with Naramata Fire Rescue.

According to Trovao, he and three other firefighters from his crew travelled to Burns Lake on Aug. 16 as part of a task force to battle nearby wildfires. Early this morning, however, Trovao and his team were moved to Vanderhoof to assist with firefighting efforts there instead, after the Verdun wildfire flared out of control near Takysi Lake.

“We were tasked to work this morning, but a fire overtook a camp (in the area) so they’re on reconnaissance trying to get equipment out of that spot,” said Trovao.

While officials cannot yet confirm the exact location of the camp in question, crews and structural protection personnel battling the Verdun wildfire were forced to evacuate to a safety zone in the afternoon of Aug. 16.

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“Last night the fire activity on the (Verdun) fire was very active from approximately 4 p.m. in the afternoon to 4 a.m. It took a run of 3.5 kilometres to the southeast,” said Marge Drysdale, information officer for BC Wildfire Services in Burns Lake.

“The fire activity was quite intense, so they decided that it was in all of their best interests’ to move to the safety zone,” said Drysdale.

All those forced to evacuate to the safety zone are safe and accounted for. The Verdun wildfire is currently 3,628 hectares.

BC Wildfire Services has not confirmed any camp or equipment damages at this time.

According to Trovao, he and his team will remain in the Vanderhoof area for the next seven days to “protect structures and help with reconnaissance”. Naramata Fire Rescue will then send a second crew to rotate out the original team, which will operate for another seven-day shift.

For more information about ongoing wildfires in BC, click here.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.



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