Western News file photo

Boots on the ground wildfire training for B.C. firefighters

Firefighters from around B.C. will be in Penticton at a simulated wildfire training exercise

Firefighters from around British Columbia will be improving their knowledge and response to wildfires at a symposium that will be held in the South Okanagan in April.

“This is the first time it has been done in the province,” said Penticton Fire Department Chief Larry Watkinson, whose department is hosting the simulated wildfire training exercise. “We’re pretty excited about it. We had so much interest that we have a waiting list of 50 guys that want to come to this event, but we can’t, it’s just too many people to manage.”

From April 6 to 8, 150 firefighters from 27 jurisdictions will be running training exercises involving supervised burning and the active and visible deployment of fire service personnel fire apparatus and aircraft in the Campbell Mountain area neighbourhoods.

“It’s going to be full scale, large-scale event up on Campbell Mountain where we have command and control, we have engine operations, we have structure protection units, we’re going to have boots-on-the-ground wildfire fighters doing tactical, real-live firefighting on Campbell Mountain,” said Watkinson. “I think it is going to be a really positive, engaging moment for our community, never mind the fact that we are planning for fighting fires like this.”

Related: Fire crews knock down 2018’s first wildfire in B.C. Interior

Watkinson said this is a hands-on training symposium and knowledge gained from the exercises will help firefighters protect nearly a dozen B.C. communities who also respond to events involving wildland-urban interface conditions.

Over the course of the three-day event, residents may observe firefighters working a simulated wildfire event, fire trucks on roadways, firefighters in their neighbourhood and community and smoke on Campbell Mountain. Munson Mountain will be closed for command and control staging locations. Local roads will not be closed.

“The Penticton Fire Department wishes to thank Campbell Mountain area residents in advance for their patience and understand while this essential training exercise is carried out,” said Watkinson.

It’s going to be an intensive event. A detailed map has been created showing everything from the fire’s origin point in the hills above Penticton, to staging areas, threatened properties, helicopter landing areas, safe areas and medical evacuation.

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


Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
Email me or message me on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Just Posted

Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni hopes to ‘raise the reds’

Lily Diotte of Swale Rock Cafe is fundraising to replace the theatre’s red curtains

Alberni’s development soccer program doubles in size

Development practice had hardly started, but there were already more than 30… Continue reading

Catalyst Paper to sell U.S. mills to Chinese company

Sale will allow company to focus on B.C. interests, says president Ned Dwyer

Alberni university zeroes in on disability and poverty

BY MIKE YOUDS SPECIAL TO THE NEWS The road to poverty can… Continue reading

Celebrate cycling in Port Alberni during Bike to Work and School Week

Numerous ‘celebration stations’ are planned for May 28 to June 2

Black Press Media to launch Pipeline Full of Controversy series

Series covers Trans Mountain’s history, science, Indigenous reaction, politics and economics

B.C. RCMP swoop in to save injured eagle

An eagle with a broken wing now in a recovery facility after RCMP rescue near Bella Coola

Bug spray 101: Health Canada wants you to stay bite free

Health Canada is reminding Canadians to use bug spray and other insect repellents safely

Unions reject CP Rail contract offers

Both meeting Friday to determine next steps; 72 hours notice required before strike action.

B.C. jewellers warn public about fake gold scam

‘They are playing on people’s sympathy and their greed’

Former B.C. premier says pot industry about to enter Wild West

Mike Harcourt says Canada is about to enter a new gold rush with many dreaming of striking it rich

Hunt continues for two suspects in Ontario restaurant explosion

The explosion left 15 people injured, but all victims have now been released from hospital

B.C. teacher charged with sexual offences involving two teens

Henry Kang, 50, of Abbotsford charged with two counts each sex assault and sexual exploitation

Toronto Raptors star to hold basketball camp in B.C.

DeMar DeRozan is hosting a four-day camp for players aged 6-16 at the University of Victoria

Most Read