Central Okanagan firefighters lending their support to Penticton | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Central Okanagan firefighters lending their support to Penticton

The Penticton Fire Department thanked fire departments from across the province who arrived this morning, Aug. 21, to assist with structure protection with the Christie Mountain wildfire.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/ Penticton Professional Fire Fighters
August 21, 2020 - 11:57 AM

Central Okanagan firefighters will be among a large contingent of firefighters from around the province brought in to protect Penticton structures as winds are expected to pick up this afternoon with the Christie Mountain wildfire.

Lake Country deputy fire chief Brent Penner will be leading a group of three small engines in the southeast area of Penticton to protect structures this afternoon. Later this afternoon, Penner said another engine will be arriving from Lake Country to assist with structure protection.

“It’s actually gusting here at the moment but it’s not consistent. Right now, we’re doing OK, but this afternoon is what we’re worried about,” Penner said.

READ MORE: 'Too close for comfort:' Residents in path of Christie Mountain wildfire worried about forecast

If the wind blows any fire into neighbourhoods, they’ll be ready to protect structures, he said.

Vernon, West Kelowna and Kelowna firefighters are also lending their support, along with fire departments from across B.C.

Kelowna fire chief Travis Whiting, who was on scene this morning Aug. 21, said Kelowna currently has a tender, bush truck and one engine company in Penticton.

“It’s just a lot of preparation, there’s a lot of good leadership down here getting things in place… just preparing for the worst and getting ready,” he said.

“Everyone pools together and are assigned out based on tasks, so all the different departments are working with each other. There’s trucks from all over B.C. here, some from the Island, the Lower Mainland. There’s quite a wide range of vehicles and apparatus and I think there’s still more on the way,” he said.

They’ve been patrolling neighbourhoods, assisting people with fire smart precautions and now it’s a matter of seeing what the weather does, he said. Kelowna’s engine company is assisting the City of Penticton with calls.

Winds of 20 to 60 km/hr have been predicted for this afternoon, with a 60 percent chance of showers and a risk of a thunderstorm, according to Environment Canada.

“These types of events happen from time to time and there’s a pretty well-structured process in place and crews work together very well.”

READ MORE: Penticton establishing protection for structures in event of evacuation

The Christie Mountain wildfire is currently burning at 2,000 hectares, and is located six kilometres north of Okanagan Falls,on the east side of Skaha Lake. In Penticton, 3,700 homes have been placed on an evacuation alert and more than 300 properties in the Regional District of the Okanagan Similkameen have been evacuated.

So far, one home has been lost.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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