The BX Swan Lake Fire Department is among a handful of North Okanagan fire outlets that have sent members and equipment to help with the wildfires around the province. (Morning Star file photo)

North Okanagan fire halls lend hand to B.C. wildfires

Personnel and equipment deployed north to help battle B.C.’s many blazes

North Okanagan volunteer fire departments have pitched in, when and where able, to help with B.C.’s wildfire situation.

The Coldstream, Armstrong Spallumcheen and BX Swan Lake departments have sent equipment and personnel up north to help with the wildfires.

“We have sent a tender to Burns Lake along with two members,” said Armstrong Spallumcheen Fire Chief Ian Cummings late Friday. The crew members were to be swapped out this weekend. Armstrong Spallumcheen has also sent members to help the Telegraph Creek wildfire in B.C.’s northwest corner. That fire had earlier wiped out 27 structures, but there has been no reported loss of life.

RELATED: BC Wildfires: Fire crews battle blazes across region

RELATED: BC Wildfires: Province calls for federal aid

BX Swan Lake has a couple of members at Telegraph Creek and Fire Chief Bill Wacey has been helping in Burns Lake and Fort St. James.

Coldstream Fire Department sent a couple of members and a tender to Takysie Lake, near Burns Lake, accessible by ferry. There is no wife and the members are staying in touch with Chief David Sturgeon via a pay phone at a nearby fishing lodge.

“Last night, I guess it blew up,” said Sturgeon late Friday of the fire. “They had to evacuate where they were. They’re just on standby until the fire rolls through, doing structural protection.”

RELATED: Naramata firefighters diverted after fire breaches Burns Lake camp

Vernon Fire Rescue Services has not been able to send any personnel or equipment due to a shortage of staff.

“We’re just in the middle of a hiring process,” said Fire Chief David Lind on Monday. “We’re looking at having some new folks on board in September, but we just don’t have anything to spare this year.

“We’re in good enough shape for the City of Vernon, but with the conditions and the way things are with our staffing levels right now, it would be irresponsible to send folks away right now.”

Coldstream has also kept members back to fill needs at home. Same goes for the volunteer departments in Lumby, Falkland and Enderby.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Autism Awareness Day highlights challenges amid COVID-19

AutismBC regional coordinator in Kelowna discusses living with autism amid a pandemic

UPDATE: Good Samaritan delivers stolen sentimental mail

Some items stolen from boxes in the BX area were returned to the rightful owner

WATCH: Armstrong retirement community adapts amid COVID-19

Heaton Place rethinks programming to ensure residents stay safe, healthy and entertained

BREAKING: Inmate at Okanagan Correctional Centre tests positive for COVID-19

This is B.C.’s first community outbreak at a corrections facility

Answer your phone, Vernon school district says

No caller ID or unknown callers could be your child’s teacher reaching out

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

B.C. health care workers gain access to virtual health care options

During COVID-19 many clinics have closed, leaving health care workers with nowhere to turn

Tax collectors, auditors to help field ‘historic’ numbers of benefit-seeking callers

‘If you work for CRA, people think we are just there to take money from your pockets.’

Cowichan couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

Family uses social media to help truckers find places to eat during pandemic

Restaurants Serving Drivers in Western Canada seeks to provide a list of places open for drivers

Advocates sound alarm over COVID-19 limiting access to contraceptives, abortion

The COVID-19 outbreak has hit sexual-health services from almost every angle

‘We’re working to help every Canadian’: Minister of Middle Class Prosperity

Minister Mona Fortier explains she is working with all levels of government amid COVID-19

Two planes come into close contact above Kelowna

The incident occurred between a WestJet flight and a private plane back in 2019

Most Read