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

Running in memory of Tamara

Team “Tears to HOPE” ran in the Vancouver Sun Run in honour of murdered and missing Indigenous women

Tree branch damages VIA Rail train between Prince Rupert and Prince George

Passenger train has delayed the scheduled route on April 22

North Coast Regional District boardroom renamed in honour of late councillor

NCRD’s boardroom was renamed the Nelson Kinney Committee Room

City struggles to meet RCMP demands to improve facilities

Prince Rupert’s cells being retrofitted while process continues for new $30M RCMP building

LETTER: Haven from the sun

Viviers and Tupas family have been in Prince Rupert 20 years after leaving the sun in South Africa

North Coast teachers learn the language of technology

School District 52 teachers learned about circuits, Microbits and JavaScripts on April 20

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Vancouver to rake in $30 million in empty homes tax in first year

The tax is the first of its kind in Canada, and was intended to address the city’s near-zero vacancy rate

B.C.’s snowpack continues to increase, melting delayed

River Forecast Centre official says sudden melting further into the season could cause flooding

Another B.C. First Nation voices support for Kinder Morgan pipeline

Simpcw First Nation claims people living on one-third of pipeline route support the project

Malicious Monster Truck Tour coming to Northwest B.C. this summer

It’s the first time in 20 years monster trucks have rolled past Prince George for a northern show

Protesters argue both sides of B.C.’s SOGI curriculum at teachers’ union office

The sexual orientation and gender identity program was launched as a pilot project last year

Prankster broadcasts fake nuclear threat in Winnipeg

The audio recording on Sunday warned of a nuclear attack against Canada and the United States

ICBC reform aims to slow rising car insurance costs

‘Pain and suffering’ payouts to be capped, major injury limit to double

Most Read