Lightning blankets the Southern Interior of B.C. sparking 22 new wildfires in the region. Image: Kayleigh Seibel/Black Press Media

Non-wildfire related calls line plague dispatchers, block line

The logjam of callers Tuesday night resulted in long wait times for people legitimately calling about new fire activity.

Responders at BC Wildfire Service have an important message for everyone.

Do not call their *5555 emergency number set up to report fires, unless you are actually reporting a fire.

Tuesday night saw 38 new fires spark across the province and an overwhelming number of calls flooded the fire reporting line.

The logjam of callers resulted in long wait times for people legitimately calling about new fire activity.

Related: More lightning forecast as storm sparks 38 new wildfires in B.C.

Related: 911 jams causes panic among residents

Related: More thunderstorms on the way as fires still burn

And that’s partly because some people were calling just to get updates on fire activity in their area.

“There were individuals in some areas that had challenges getting through,” said Claire Allen, fire information officer.

“We really appreciate the calls, but we want to make sure it stays a reporting line,” said Allen.

Another problem was people reporting fires that weren’t new, and many of those calls came from the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys, she said.

“That’s a very dense population corridor and the fires that broke out last night were extremely visible.”

Allen stressed that calls from the public to report fires are “invaluable to us,” while urging responsible use of *5555.

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



andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Controversial supportive housing project gets green light from Kelowna city council

Land for 52-unit project on Agassiz Road rezoned after lengthy, packed public hearing

Youth losing human connection in digital era

Forum offers advice to Kelowna parents about managing a child’s social media screen time

Okanagan youth invited to speak at TEDx event in Kelowna

Application deadine Jan. 31 to be selected as TEDx Youth presenter

Windmills returns to the stage for what could be the last time

The musician took a break from music for a year to recover from his last EP

Kelowna Art Gallery hosts new exhibition, Poetics of Space

The exhibition can be viewed from Feb. 2 until May 5

Fashion Fridays: Inspirational gym outfits

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Russian fighter jets collide over Sea of Japan crews eject

One plane crashed after its crew ejected safely, the other crew also ejected but they have not been found

Judge to deliver verdict in British sailor’s gang rape case

The alleged gang rape took place at a Halifax-area military base in 2015

B.C. minister fears money laundering involves billions of dollars, cites reports

The government had estimated that it was a $200-million a year operation, instead estimates now peg the problem at $1 billion annually

Heavy snowfall expected on the Coquihalla

Snowfall warning in effect for the Coquihalla Highway, from Hope to Merritt

BC Hydro scammers bilked customers out of nearly $45,000 in 2018

Nearly 2,000 people reported scams to the utility, as they continue to be more common

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Hergott: Memories of crashes fade

Lawyer Paul Hergott writes about the importance of journaling after a crash

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Most Read