An air tanker drops fire retardant on the Christie Mountain wildfire along Skaha Lake in Penticton, B.C. Thursday, August 20, 2020. (Jonathan Hayward - The Canadian Press file)

An air tanker drops fire retardant on the Christie Mountain wildfire along Skaha Lake in Penticton, B.C. Thursday, August 20, 2020. (Jonathan Hayward - The Canadian Press file)

North Okanagan firefighters thanked for help in Christie Mountain wildfire

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen send thank-you note to Vernon firefighters

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen offered its thanks to the Vernon Fire Department for helping battle the Christie Mountain wildfire in August.

“It is difficult to put in words the appreciation that is felt when individuals put themselves in harm’s way to protect and save others,” RDOS chair Karla Kozakevich wrote in a letter to the VFD last month. “It is yet a further level of commitment when you travel beyond your own community to assist others.”

The wildfire sparked Tuesday, Aug. 18, about six kilometres from Okanagan Falls near Penticton and strong winds quickly spread flames from 10 hectares to 1,000 by nightfall.

Almost immediately, firefighters from across the province offered to support the efforts to combat the blaze.

Firefighters from Armstrong, Coldstream, BX-Swan Lake, Lake Country, Ranchero Deep Creek and Vernon answered the call.

“Your contribution was instrumental in reducing damage, or potential damage from the fire,” wrote Kozakevich. “Many citizens were very concerned with the fire being so close to homes, and it is a great relief to have dedicated firefighters available at a moment’s notice to assist our own fire departments in protecting the community.”

Hundreds of residents were evacuated and more than 3,000 others were put on notice and warned to be ready to leave their homes at a moment’s notice.

One home was confirmed destroyed by the blaze that was deemed under control Sept. 11.

“On behalf of the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen Board of Directors, staff and residents, I offer a sincere thank you for your commitment to the safety and protection of the citizens of the region,” Kozakevich wrote.

The letter was presented to Vernon city councillors during the Monday, Oct. 26, meeting.

READ MORE: North Okanagan firefighters answer call to south

READ MORE: Home destroyed in Armstrong mobile home park fire


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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