Wildfire personnel and Pen-High students come to the rescue at Red Wing Resorts - InfoNews.ca

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Wildfire personnel and Pen-High students come to the rescue at Red Wing Resorts

Forestry personnel were joined by Pen-High students in sandbagging efforts at Red Wing Resorts today, June 7, 2017.
June 07, 2017 - 4:45 PM

PENTICTON - Residents racing against time to shore up beachfront at the Red Wing Resorts near Penticton got by with a little help from friends today.

Less than 24 hours after a local state of emergency was declared for the gated community, ranks of B.C. Wildfire Service personnel were bolstered today, June 7, by students from Penticton High School, to build a sandbag wall against floodwaters threatening the resort’s clubhouse and a number of waterfront residences.

Teacher Bo Boxall says 24 students were bussed to the resort today as the school cycled its physical education classes to Red Wing to fill and carry sandbags.

“It’s a great way for the students to help out the community, develop some empathy and get some exercise,” Boxall says.

Pen-High students Kim Steur and Hannah Guenther fill sandbags at Red Wing Resort.
Pen-High students Kim Steur and Hannah Guenther fill sandbags at Red Wing Resort.

The school had sent members of the senior leadership class yesterday.

Grade 10 students were working alongside wildfire firefighters, filling and hauling the sandbags roughly 100 metres down the beach for a sandbag wall partially built at the northern extremity of the resort.

“We got a letter last night about this,” grade 10 student Lucas Golden says as he dropped a sandbag at the end of the row. “We all volunteered to do it. I’m having fun.”

Wildfire firefighter Matt Garner says having the high school students to help out was really moving things along.

Lucas Golden, a grade 10 student at Pen-High, deposits a sandbag along the beach at Red Wing Resorts.
Lucas Golden, a grade 10 student at Pen-High, deposits a sandbag along the beach at Red Wing Resorts.

“You can really tell the difference when we are between classes, with one group gone before the other shift arrives. We’re stoked to have them here with us,” Garner says.

Several waterfront homes in the resort are within inches of being inundated by Okanagan Lake. After connecting with the sandbag wall constructed at the north end of the resort, Garner says they plan to raise the height of the existing wall due to the threat from wave action.

The sandbag wall around the resort’s clubhouse was also raised, with slightly more than half the perimeter of the building now surrounded by water.

Work crews also beefed up sandbag walls around the resort's clubhouse this morning, June 7, 2017.
Work crews also beefed up sandbag walls around the resort's clubhouse this morning, June 7, 2017.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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