Photo by Naramata Fire Rescue

Fire chases Burns Lake crews out of their own camp

Crews are having to leave after a wildfire reportedly overtook their sleeping quarters

Firefighters from a small community in the Okanagan were among those who travelled to Burns Lake this week to help out as crews there battle a fire that has overtaken their own camp.

“They’re actually battling fire in their own sleeping quarters,” said Chief Tony Trovao with Naramata Fire Rescue. “They’re on reconnaissance trying to get equipment out of that spot.”

Trovao said he and three other firefighters from his crew travelled to Burns Lake on Aug. 16 as part of a task force to battle nearby wildfires.

Early Friday morning, however, Trovao and his team were moved to Vanderhoof to assist with firefighting efforts there instead, after the Verdun wildfire flared out of control near Takysi Lake.

While officials cannot yet confirm the exact location of the camp, crews and structural protection personnel battling the Verdun wildfire were forced to evacuate to a safety zone in the afternoon of Aug. 16.

RELATED: Snowy Mountain wildfire expected to create poor visibility

“Last night, the fire activity on the (Verdun) fire was very active from approximately 4 p.m. in the afternoon to 4 a.m. It took a run of 3.5 kilometres to the southeast,” said Marge Drysdale, information officer for BC Wildfire Services in Burns Lake.

“The fire activity was quite intense, so they decided that it was in all of their best interests’ to move to the safety zone.”

All those forced to evacuate to the safety zone are safe and accounted for. The Verdun wildfire is currently 3,628 hectares.

BC Wildfire Services did not confirmed any camp or equipment damages as of Friday afternoon.

According to Trovao, he and his team will remain in the Vanderhoof area for the next seven days to protect structures and help with reconnaissance.

Naramata Fire Rescue will then send a second crew to rotate out the original team, which will operate for another seven-day shift.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.



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