More than 60 B.C. communities came to Penticton's aid last Friday | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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More than 60 B.C. communities came to Penticton's aid last Friday

Penticton's Adidas Sportsplex was home to B.C. Firefighters who came from more than 60 communities to help Penticton fight the Christie Mountain wildfire last week.
August 24, 2020 - 6:30 PM

A grateful Penticton is saying so long as fire departments from all over the province make their way back to their respective communities after pulling together to help the Peach City last Friday.

Penticton Fire Chief Larry Watkinson says 61 fire apparatus from sources beyond Penticton arrived here last week to help protect homes in the path of the Christie Mountain wildfire.

He says in a few cases, multiple pieces were sent, depending on the size of the community.

The firefighters staged out of the Adidas Sportsplex parking lot last Friday, Aug. 21, and were billeted in the sportsplex while in Penticton.

“The Penticton Trade and Convention Centre provided the catering, with beverages, breakfast and lunch all provided using social distancing protocols,” Watkinson says.

The firefighters responded to a call for aid from the Penticton Fire Department. Watkinson says the call for action works “almost like a provincial aid agreement,” but says the response is funded by Emergency Management British Columbia.

The call for aid is sent to departments throughout B.C. and individual departments decide if and how they can respond.

Fortunately, anticipation of Friday’s high winds driving the fire toward Penticton did not materialize, and crews began heading home on Saturday.

Watkinson says he’s down to a skeleton crew today, with a couple of contractors and two pieces of apparatus from Salmon Arm and Erris. He says they will stay overnight and probably tomorrow before heading home.

An evacuation alert for the city of Penticton was rescinded today, Aug. 24, and plans are in the works to rescind an evacuation order for Heritage Hills later this week.


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