Military marches into Princeton BC and lends hand to firefighters

“Our job is to be that second line of support.”

The Canadian Armed Forces marched into Princeton BC Friday afternoon to establish a camp for approximately 110 soldiers who are backing up the efforts of the BC Wildfire Service.

The personnel are assigned to mop up duties on the Cool Creek fire, which is burning out of control 20 km northeast of Eastgate.

“Our job is to be that second line of support,” said Major James Anderson, commanding officer.

“We are soldiers not firefighters…but I can roll up a hose if you show me how to roll up a hose.”

Soldiers were previous stationed near Merritt, and have worked on the Gottfriedsen Mountain and Juliet Creek fires.

The military’s contribution allows firefighters to address more aggressive areas of the blaze, according to Noelle Kekula, BC Wildfire information officer.

“They are helping us with mopping up and patrolling and it’s just more boots on the ground to help us increase the black line around that fire,” she said.

“There’s a job for every firefighter out there so it will definitely free us up so we can put our BC resources in other areas.”

Cool Creek is measured at 12,685 hectares and took suppression crews by surprise Thursday with increased activity.

Related: Seasonal cabins threatened by Cool Creek blaze

“[Fire] columns started interacting and building off of each other. Fire creates its own wind and its own environment. We saw behaviour in all sites of the fire,” said Kekula.

“The good news is that it still stayed within our planned boundary, our planned control area. It did challenge us in areas and it did jump a few guards that we had, but it’s still in our bigger planned area where we are expecting it to go.”

Friday there were 106 firefighters and other personnel actioning the blaze, supported by heavy equipment.

Tents were rising quickly Friday afternoon at the Ground Search and Rescue property located adjacent to the Princeton airport.

Anderson said Princeton may be home to the armed forces for two to three weeks.

“The soldiers are not confined to camp, so you will be seeing some folks in town.”

Related: B.C. ends state of emergency, 485 wildfires still burning

To report a typo, email:
publisher@similkameenspotlight.com
.



andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Major James Anderson, commanding officer. Photo Andrea DeMeer

Soldiers may be in Princeton for two to three weeks, and will be visiting town. Photo Andrea DeMeer

Just Posted

Playgrounds to reopen across the Okanagan on June 1

After nearly two months closure, playgrounds are set to reopen

Princeton officially becomes ’Bronze Statue Capital of Canada’

“We are going to come out of this fine.” That’s the opinion… Continue reading

Princeton RCMP stop men intent on jumping off bridge

Princeton RCMP investigating a trespassing complaint arrived in time to stop two… Continue reading

100 miles in 24 hours: a B.C. man’s mission to support the less fortunate

Merritt’s Darius Sam felt he needed to help his community after an encounter with a struggling woman

COLUMN: Diminished Parliament means diminished accountability for Canadians

Bloc Quebecois and NDP use resumption of parliament as bargaining chip

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Flood watch for Salmon River upgraded as high temperatures, rain forecast

Shuswap Emergency Program warns residents to prepare now for possible extreme flooding

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

RCMP request public’s help in locating missing Salmon Arm man

Ken Derkach is a familiar face to many, one of the city’s residents who is without a home

Booze on Kelowna beaches? Mayor says ‘not at the moment’

Mayor Colin Basran says alcohol in public spaces is not on council’s radar right now — but that could change

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

VIDEO: Police look for suspect seen tripping elderly woman in Burnaby

The elderly woman was walking near the SkyTrain station when she was randomly tripped

Drunk man on a dirt bike and prohibited drivers without insurance keep Shuswap RCMP busy

Other calls resulted in excessive speed tickets and the arrests of two prohibited drivers

Most Read