Not just boaters: Aircraft fighting Christie Mountain wildfire were also impeded by kitesurfer | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Not just boaters: Aircraft fighting Christie Mountain wildfire were also impeded by kitesurfer

Not a good place to kite surf: Penticton RCMP were called after a kite surfer got in the way of aircraft working the Christie Mountain wildfire on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020. The kite surfer was seen along Wright's Beach (lower right) with the airport runway shown upper left and the Okanagan River channel in the upper part of the photo.
August 28, 2020 - 6:00 AM

As if boats and vehicles weren't enough for firefighters to contend with when fighting the Christie Mountain wildfire near Penticton, a kitesurfer also grounded aircraft. 

While they were fighting the fire, civilians had to be reminded several times to stay out of the way of helicopters and planes drawing water from Skaha Lake. Authorities also had to deal with vehicles stopped along Highway 97 blocking traffic while they took photos and watched the fire.

But firefighting aircraft were also impeded by a kitesurfer. 

The Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Reporting System noted on Tuesday, Aug. 25, the kitesurfer was observed flying on Wright’s Beach south of the airport, but on the approach and departure path to the airport.

Penticton RCMP spokesperson Const. James Grandy says officers answered a call to the area on that day.

Grandy says the kite surfer in question immediately cooperated when told by police to cease the activity.

The kite was considered a hazard to aircraft fighting the Christie Mountain wildfire.

Kitesurfers normally launch from the Sudbury Beach area and keep to the east of the Okanagan River channel on Skaha Lake.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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