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

BC Wildfire holding steady on Okanagan Complex

Evening update on Okanagan fire situation

Special board gets those with mobility challenges out on the water at Canoe Beach

A special beach chair was used to cross the uneven ground down to the water’s edge.

Okanagan Wildfires: An afternoon update on wildfires and evacuations

A Sunday afternoon look at the major wildfires impacting the Okanagan and Similkameen.

BC Wildfire merges Mt. Eneas and Munro Lake fires

Large plume of smoke seen over the fire was a controlled event

Salmon Arm emergency crews respond to single vehicle accident on 50 Street SW

An ambulance was seen leaving the scene of the accident

BC Games: Day 3 wrap and closing ceremonies

The torch in the Cowichan Valley has been extinguished as Fort St. John gets ready to host the 2020 BC Winter Games

Police confirm girl, 8 others injured in Toronto shooting; shooter dead

Paramedics said many of the victims in Danforth, including a child, were rushed to trauma centres

Why do they do it? Coaches guide kids to wins, personal bests at the BC Games

Behind the 2,300 B.C. athletes are the 450 coaches who dedicate time to help train, compete

Reel Reviews: Floundering inferno

We quote Charlie Brown: “Good grief!”

UPDATE: Five taken to hospital following one of two Coquihalla accidents

One airlifted in critical condition, four taken via ambulance in stable condition

Ottawa fails to find alternative buyer for Trans Mountain pipeline by deadline

The feds had announced it was purchasing the $4.5 billion pipeline earlier this spring

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Lower Mainland teams battle for baseball gold at BC Games

Vancouver Coastal squeaked out a 3-2 win against Fraser Valley

The Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw people signed an agreement-in-principle with the B.C. government

The signing ceremony, at the Eliza Archie Memorial School, was 25 years in the making

Most Read