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

Transit Rider Appreciation Day Friday in the Comox Valley

Transit riders in the Comox Valley are invited to enjoy some festive… Continue reading

Police respond to alleged bear-spray threats

A number of Comox dog owners have reported their off-leash dogs being threatened with bear spray

Brent Flahr new Philadelphia Flyers assistant GM

Courtenay resident reunited with Chuck Fletcher in Philadelphia

Comox Valley Food Bank – 35 years of feeding the Valley

The Comox Valley Food Bank turns 35 years old on Dec. 19,… Continue reading

Kingfisher Resort unveils newly renovated Ocean Courtyard Wing

The $2 million renovation was completed at the end of November

Man caught on camera allegedly trying to defraud ICBC

Auto-insurer warns B.C. drivers to record info after crashes

French police try to catch attack suspect dead or alive

Local authorities increase death toll to three, including 13 wounded and five in serious condition

Second Canadian missing in China after questioning by authorities

Michael Spavor, founder of a non-profit that organizes cultural-exchange trips to North Korea, “is presently missing in China”

Cannabis gift ideas for this holiday season

Put the green in happy holidays, now that cannabis is legal in Canada

Warning issued as forecast calls for 20-foot waves in Tofino

Dangerous waves, strong currents and upper-shoreline flooding expected for Tofino-Ucluelet area

Oil tanker ban to be reviewed by committee

Indigenous groups for and against Bill C-48 travel to Ottawa to influence the Senate’s decision

An 800-pound pig named Theodore needs a forever home, B.C. society says

‘Theodore is not destined to be somebody’s bacon’

Courtenay man named Flyers assistant GM

Brent Flahr spent nine-plus years in Minnesota

Most Read