134752

Kelowna  

Stay away or get fined

Alanna Kelly

Water bombers had to dive into Wood Lake to get water to fight a nearby wildfire on Monday.

Residents watching said it appeared that some boaters weren’t getting the message.

Chief Fire Information officer Kevin Skrepnek said this time, things weren’t too bad.

“Not only is it interfering with our operations, but it is posing a safety issue to the people in the boat and our pilots as well,” said Skrepnek.

Skrepnek spoke with the lead pilot involved in dousing the Dee Lake Fire, who said people on the lake were generally quite good.

“People were getting out of the way,” he said.

Sirens were sounded each time the aircraft came towards Wood Lake, alerting people to move to the sides.

In the past, the BC Wildfire Service has had difficulty with people in boats and using drones when they are responding to a fire.

“We have certainly had issues in the past, it is a good message to get out,” he said.

As extreme heat ramps up and tinder dry conditions continue, Skrepnek said more people will be hitting the lake and they need to be aware of the bombers and tankers.

“If it’s determined that the person was interfering in firefighting operations, a fine and/or penalty could be issued. Although several options are available, a violation ticket fine would likely be the most common,” reads the Wildfire Service website.

Individuals interfering can face a fine of $1,150 or up to $100,000 under the Wildfire Act.



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