Coldstream closes boat launches after boaters interrupt air tankers | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Coldstream closes boat launches after boaters interrupt air tankers

The Becker Lake wildfire east of Vernon, July 10, 2021.
Image Credit: Howard Alexander
July 12, 2021 - 10:48 AM

Two Coldstream boat launches into Kalamalka Lake are closed Monday to give B.C. Wildfire Service planes clear access to the lake.

On Sunday, July 11, both boats and drones presented a danger to wildfire service planes and helicopters as they attempted to suppress the Becker Lake wildfire.

The Kinloch and Kalavista boat launches are now closed to the public to minimize boats in the area, according to a news release from the District of Coldstream.

Wildfire air tankers were grounded for two hours on Sunday when a drone was spotted in the area. Efforts to pick up water in Kalamalka Lake were also stymied as boats floated too far into the north end of the lake.

The wildfire, five kilometres east of Vernon, is estimated at 35 hectares and showed no new growth on July 11.

There are no skimmers yet allocated to the Becker Lake wildfire on Monday morning, but they could be called in as the day progresses.

The local emergency operations centre points out crews could be taking water from any lake in the area so are asking residents and visitors to not boat, kayak or paddle board.

No properties have been ordered to evacuate yet, but many North Okanagan properties remain on alert.

Go here to see the regional district's list of properties on evacuation alert.

South of Vernon, a wildfire near Clerke Road was last estimated at 43 hectares, but the wildfire service deems it to be under control.

A small wildfire was also located on July 11, about 3.8 kilometres up Coldstream Creek, north of Lavington.

It's estimated at 0.01 hectares and suspected to have been human caused.


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