A view of smoke from the Angle Mountain fire. Photo by Darlene Haslock

Public told to stay out of fire areas

Stolen equipment and careless boaters create problems for fire crews

The BC Wildfire Service are asking the public to steer clear of areas where crews are battling wildfires.

In a facebook post on July 29, the wildfire service say there have been multiple incidents over the past two days of fire fighting having to be halted because of interference from the public.

The post mentions instances of off-road vehicles entering an active fire area, forcing helicopters to stop dropping water on the fire.

Off-road vehicles have also been driving near areas where crews are conducting a controlled burn, creating a safety risk for both the crews and the off-road drivers.

There have also been complaints of boaters failing to give bucketing helicopters enough room to manoeuvre safely.

More disturbingly, the post mentions incidences of fire suppression equipment being stolen or vandalized.

“The RCMP has no tolerance for criminal activities within evacuated areas. Those suspected of thefts or mischief will be arrested,” the post reads.

The Wildfire Act and Wildfire Regulation grants government officials engaged in fire control, including firefighters, the power to order members of the public to leave an area.

According to the Facebook post, RCMP and conservation officers will be increasing their patrols in areas where interference with firefighting operations is occurring.