Wildfire crews camped out at former Kamloops elementary school grounds | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Wildfire crews camped out at former Kamloops elementary school grounds

Wildfire camp located on the former Parkcrest Elementary school grounds in Kamloops. The location is a central place to deploy crews to Sparks Lake and Embleton fires.
July 20, 2021 - 7:30 AM

The empty grounds of a former Kamloops elementary school are now a temporary home for wildfire crews working on the Sparks Lake and Embleton wildfires.

Around 200 firefighters are sleeping, eating and attending meetings on the site of the former Parkcrest Elementary School. A fire destroyed the North Kamloops elementary school on Sept. 5, 2019.

The firefighters tents are scattered across what used to be the school’s backfield at one end, with parking, portables and mess tents at the other. The crews are deploying early each morning to battle the flames.

Fire information officer Shannon Swift says it's a central location for tackling the two wildfires.

“There are 131 wildfire fighters working on the Sparks Lake fire and 40 working on the Embleton fire,” Swift said. “The location is central to both.

"There is a camp information meeting happening early each morning before crews are deployed, which is more efficient than having smaller meetings for the separate fire teams. We have BC Wildfire crews here as well as several contract crews.”

The grounds are bordered by pink ribbon to make fire camp boundaries clear to the public and there is security onsite at field entrances. Swift hopes residents and curious onlookers will keep their distance.

“We ask the public to respect the privacy of the firefighters,” Swift said. “They are working long days and need their rest."

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 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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