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South Okanagan fire departments train for wildfire season

There are currently 132 wildfires burning in B.C.
Fire departments from around the Okanagan got together Sunday in Lake Country to train for wildfire season. (Photo courtesy of Penticton Fire Chief)

Fire departments across the Southern Interior spent the weekend in Lake Country, training for wildfire season.

The Penticton fire department delivered the second of five coordinated wildfire training courses on Sunday. According to fire chief Larry Watkinson, this training provides local fire departments with tactics to be deployed while protecting homes from wildfires. The training is provided in partnership with BC Wildfire Services.

Anarchist Mountain Fire Department was one of the fire departments that participated in Sunday’s training that was held outdoors.

Firefighters from around the province descended on Penticton in 2019 for the Wildland Urban Interface Wildfire Training Symposium.

The event, which was held in May, was hosted by the City of Penticton Fire Department and brought 150 firefighters from 25 jurisdictions across the province.

The symposium was again supposed to be held last year but was cancelled due to COVID-19.

This year, the training is being held over several weekends.

READ MORE: Wildfire training brings 150 firefighters to Penticton

Currently, there are 132 wildfires burning in B.C., according to the B.C. Wildfire Dashboard. Twenty-four of those are in the last two days. It has been a particularly dry spring.

Penticton saw three human-caused wildfires sparked in one day last week, forcing BC Wildfire Services to come in.

READ MORE: Three wildfires sparked in Penticton all human-caused

Check out the B.C. Wildfire Dashboard here.

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Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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