Boaters blasted for getting in the way of Okanagan firefighters

One sailboat, in particular, continues to be spotted by air crews

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP and local governments are reminding people to stay out of the evacuation zones, including those travelling by boat. (RCMP)

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP and local governments are reminding people to stay out of the evacuation zones, including those travelling by boat. (RCMP)

Despite being flooded with messages to stay out of the way, some boaters continue to get in the way of firefighting efforts.

BC Wildfire Service planes and helicopters continue to see watercraft on Okanagan Lake in particular, where continuous water pickup efforts are underway.

There is one repeat offender that crews hope to get the message out to.

“They want the sailboat off of Okanagan Lake,” Vernon Coun. Akbal Mund said.

Mund has a friend who flies planes that drop water on the fires and was told he is constantly seeing this sailboat floating on the lake.

Disappointed to see people are still not getting the message, Coun. Scott Anderson says these boaters are messing up plans by being anywhere near the area of operation.

“I know it seems like when boats are out there, you might be a long ways away from the planes,” Anderson said. “But it really throws a bug into the works when planes are coming down in formation trying to pull this thing off.”

Some of those in the evacuated areas, whether it is on Okanagan or Mabel lakes, are trying to see if their homes are still standing.

Unfortunately for many in West Kelowna and Fintry, they are not. Approximately 70 Westside Road properties located in the Ewings Landing and Killiney areas have been significantly damaged due to the White Rock Lake wildfire.

“My thoughts go out to those homeowners and those in the area who will be deeply impacted for a long time,” Mayor Victor Cumming said.

READ MORE: Approximately 70 Westside Road properties significantly damaged due to White Rock Lake wildfire

READ MORE: Stay out of evacuation zones: RCMP


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