The Kelowna Fire Deparment respond to a fire. Photo: West Coast Photography

B.C. fire chief learns from California fires

Chief Travis Whiting and Kelowna Fire Department learn from the devasting U.S. fires

  • Nov. 19, 2018 6:00 a.m.

The 2018 California fires have devastated the west coast state of the U.S. since mid-July. The most recent fires, the Woosley Fire and the Camp Fire have been ravaging the state since the beginning of November. As of Nov. 16, the Camp Fire has killed 63 people so far and has destroyed 10,321 structures which makes it both the deadliest and most destructive California wildfire on record according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

RELATED: Missing-persons list tops 600 in fire-stricken California

The Okanagan area has its own problems with forest fires every year. Kelowna Fire Department Chief Travis Whiting says that the department is constantly learning from devastating fires like the California fires.

“We’re constantly meeting with fire chiefs throughout the Okanagan area to prepare for our season. We come together to see if there are new programs that can help us. Some programs are simple, some are not, ” said Whiting. “At the end of each fire season, we communicate as we learn from the past season.”

But as Whiting claims, there is no direct comparisons to the types of fire in California to the types of fires in the Okanagan.

“From climate differences to the different amount of fuel loads there. The fire behaviour there is not consistent with the fire behaviour here. It’s apples to oranges,” said Whiting.

The B.C. government gave a summary of the 2017 wildfire season, citing it as one of the worst seasons in B.C.’s history with 1.2 million hectares of land burned, over $568 million spend in fire suppression, and roughly 65,000 people displaced.

RELATED: B.C. couple helping wildfire evacuees in northern California

Whiting says being proactive can only go so far.

“Its the unpredictability of the fires,” Whiting explained. “Every fire is different, and mother nature is unpredictable. But we rely on our teams’ responses of getting there early and we’re very aggressive with every fire.”

Whiting says FireSmart helps in the preparation of the fire season and more information can be found here.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

bc wildfiresCity of KelownaKelowna Fire Department

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

Just Posted

Rio Tinto responds to U.S. aluminum import tariffs

The tariffs were imposed by President Donald Trump Aug. 6

Coastal GasLink breaks ground on meter station in Kitimat

Meter station marks final point on pipeline that stretches from Northeast B.C.

Oily rain runoff down the drain causes concern for Prince Rupert residents

Immediate action taken to alleviate any concerns, road paving contractor said.

B.C. fish harvesters receive long-awaited details on pandemic benefits

Applications to the $470-million federal assistance programs will open Aug. 24

Repaving coming for two sections of Nisga’a Hwy and Hubert St. in Gingolx

Drivers can expect some minor delays and single lane alternating traffic

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

B.C. wildfire crews have battled 111 blazes in the last seven days

Twenty-nine fires remain active, as of Friday (Aug 7)

‘We don’t make the rules’: Okanagan pub owner says staff harassed over pandemic precautions

‘If you have six people plus a baby, guess what? That’s seven’ - West Kelowna Kelly O’Bryan’s owner

T-Rex earns big bids at B.C. dino auction

Over 500 dino-themed lots sold to buyers from across North America

Most Read