Vernon residents cheer on firefighters as they return to camp from the White Rock Lake fire. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Vernon residents cheer on firefighters as they return to camp from the White Rock Lake fire. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Fire camp in Vernon set for takedown

White Rock Lake wildfire camp at Kin Race Track housed more than 500 firefighters at its peak

As the White Rock Lake wildfire continues to burn as the province’s only wildfire of note, management of the incident is being passed back to local authorities.

That means the Vernon Fire Camp at the old Kin Race Track will start to be taken down as early as this weekend, BC Wildfire Services said.

At its peak, “Casa Vernon” housed more than 500 firefighters, specialists and support staff.

Vernon residents turned out daily at shift change with lawn chairs, signs and sometimes donning costumes to cheer on those on the frontline of the 83,342-hectare fire that burned between Kamloops and Vernon for the past 60-plus days.

Now, the fire is mostly under control, but it is still burning above the Banks Creek Drainage and until that burns its way down to the control line, BCWS can’t classify the fire as “under control.”

The provincial agency said this section of the fire will continue to burn and put up smoke until it reaches those lines where firefighters can extinguish them safely at the fire’s edge.

As a result, while most of the fire has been suppressed and no further spread is expected, the White Rock Lake wildfire was reclassified as “being held” on Sept. 10.

BC Wildfire Services extended its gratitude to the community for its support and the continued hospitality from the City of Vernon.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Vernon fire camp home to 330 firefighters, staff

READ MORE: More than 600 fridges hauled from White Rock Lake fire-affected homes


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B.C. Wildfires 2021

 

Chilliwack firefighters are cheered on by locals as they return to camp in Vernon after battling the White Rock Lake wildfire Aut. 26. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Chilliwack firefighters are cheered on by locals as they return to camp in Vernon after battling the White Rock Lake wildfire Aut. 26. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)