April 29, 2019 1:13 pm
Updated: May 1, 2019 8:53 pm

Residents warned of smoke, flames during simulated wildfire training exercise near Penticton

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When you see more than 150 firefighters descend on Penticton, unfamiliar fire trucks on the roadways and smoke billowing from Campbell Mountain this weekend, there is no need to be alarmed.

READ MORE: Penticton wildfire training symposium, first of its kind in the Okanagan

The Penticton Fire Department is hosting the Wildland Urban Interface Wildfire Training Symposium from May 3 to 5.

Hundreds of firefighters from 25 jurisdictions across B.C. will attend the symposium to hone their wildfire-fighting skills.

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“Designed to help improve knowledge of and response to wildfires, the symposium will involve scheduled training exercises involving supervised burning and the active and visible deployment of fire service personnel, fire apparatus and aircraft in the Campbell Mountain, Sendero Canyon and West Bench neighbourhoods,” said fire Chief Larry Watkinson in a press release.

Residents of the three impacted Penticton-area neighbourhoods are being reassured that safety and property protection is the fire department’s top priority.

“The Penticton Fire Department wishes to thank all Penticton residents in advance for their patience and (understanding) while this essential training exercise is carried out,” said Watkinson.

READ MORE: Wildfire officials brace for Okanagan fire season

Penticton helicopter businesses HNZ Topflight and Eclipse Helicopters will provide air support during the simulated wildfire event.

The inaugural Urban Interface Wildfire Training Symposium was held in 2018.

WATCH (March 2018): Penticton wildfire training symposium, first of its kind in the Okanagan

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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