Stay clear of fire aircraft

The B.C. Wildfire Service is asking boaters to “use common sense” while on Okanagan Lake, and stay well clear of firefighting aircraft gathering water to attack the Finlay Creek wildfire.

Castanet News has received several photos and videos of boaters getting dangerously close to water skimmers on Okanagan Lake near Peachland and Summerland.

“The B.C. Wildfire Service does ask all watercraft to stay clear of fire suppression aircraft if they are operating in an area,” fire information officer Justine Hunse said.

She noted that Okanagan Lake is massive, and there is no order to stay off the lake entirely, but they hope people do their best to avoid areas frequently under use by firefighting aircraft. Skimmers and helicopters have been using the lake near and between Peachland and Summerland.

“It has been an issue this season,” Hunse said, noting several lakes in Cariboo have been completely closed to boaters so wildfire crews can work safely.

The B.C. Wildfire Service put out a similar plea on its Facebook page Monday.

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