Crews and equipment from central Okanagan fire departments are in the Caribou region to help protect structures threatened by numerous wildfires.
At the request of the province, the Kelowna Fire Department has sent one engine truck and four fire fighters to put “boots on the ground” in Williams Lake says chief Travis Whiting. A deputy chief is also in Williams Lake to assist in resource deployment decisions.
“They have significant experience with interface fires so I’m proud to be able to send those people up and to add that assistance to the community,” said Whiting who started his fire fighting career in Williams Lake.
An assistant chief with West Kelowna Fire & Rescue is also in Williams Lake as part of the Incident Command structure. “We expect one of our chief officers to be provincially deployed for some time to come,” said fire chief Jason Broland.
Also in Williams Lake is a pumper truck and four fire fighters from the Peachland Fire Department.
The Lake Country Fire Department has also responded to the request for assistance by sending a water tender and two crew members to 108 Mile House. An engine truck and four fire fighters are in 100 Mile House.
Lake Country fire chief Steve Windsor notes the central Okanagan has received help from fire departments across the province to help deal with challenging wildfire situations in previous years. “It’s nice in some small way to offer something back,” says Windsor.
In Vernon, the fire department has city approval to send resources to fire stricken areas in the central interior should the request be made by the province.
And the Salmon Arm Fire Department is assisting with a two person crew and water tender in Williams Lake and two fire fighters in 100 Mile House.
Most of the deployments are for one week with possible extensions.
The provincial government provides financial compensation to municipal fire departments for their resources.