Kelowna Fire Department staff are getting ready for wildfire season. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)

Kelowna Fire Department staff are getting ready for wildfire season. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)

VIDEO: Kelowna fire crews train for wildfire season

As temperatures rise, so does the wildfire risk and fire crews are preparing for the season

With a dry and warm spring behind us, summer has come out in full force with 30 C days, meaning the potential for wildfires has increased.

But Kelowna Fire Department training officer Glenn Paley said his crews are ready with new and improved equipment, techniques and regular training.

“Our crews have practice nights weekly as well as daily training for those on duty,” he said.

“We use different equipment for wildland training … this time of year, we pull all our pumps out. We have small pumps that we can carry.”

With the annual wildland — or bush — training, Paley said they reacquaint crews with the smaller hoses, which are easier to carry and maneuver in wooded settings and uneven terrain.

There are also small water pumps that crews need to carry, which can use creeks or rivers as water sources. Crews going into the bush also carry backpacks that contain 40 gallons of water.

The Kelowna Fire Department also has a new water tender, which carries 2,000 gallons of water. The new tanker replaces a 20-year-old tender the department had, which carried more water but was too big and was harder to maneuver in the bush.

The new tender, while smaller, enables the driver to spray water while in motion, which he said will help crews immensely.

Fighting wildfires is only one aspect of what Kelowna firefighters can do, but Paley said it’s important to be ready if they’re ever called on to help out in another community.

“When we have those large fires… we have to make sure our firefighters are familiar with what they need to know when they go to another community to assist in those kinds of incidents,” he said.

That means being able to work not just with other Kelowna firefighters but also other cities’ crews and even the provincial wildfire service.

With all the training, technology and new equipment, Paley said people don’t need to worry about being safe from wildfires in the area.

“Since I’ve been with the Kelowna Fire Department… we’ve certainly changed with the way we deal with wildland fires. We were taking a structure firefighting approach and we were dragging big hose lines through the forest.”

“But our equipment has improved and we have wildland-specific equipment…. but we’ve come a long way in our training and equipment. The public can be assured that we’re much more prepared than we were ten or 20 years ago.”

READ MORE: Prepare your home for wildfires before they come

READ MORE: B.C. pharmacies to deliver AstraZeneca second doses starting Monday


@twilamam
twila.amato@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

wildfireWildfire season

Just Posted

(Dave Ogilvie/Contributed)
UPDATE: West Kelowna fire crews rescue injured mountain biker

The injury took place at the top of Smith Creek Road

Kelowna flags were flown at half-mast after the discovery of a residential school burial site in Kamloops. (File photo)
Central Okanagan school board chair reflects on recent tragedies

Moyra Baxter offers condolenses to residential school victims, slain Muslim family

Bentley resting on a bench at Kal Park in Vernon not knowing there is a baby rattlesnake curled up below. Bentley jumped down and was bit by the snake. (Facebook)
Dog bit by baby rattler at popular Vernon park

The rattlesnake was hidden underneath a park bench when it struck out

Kierra Smith (Contributed)
Kelowna swimmer headed to Toronto hoping to qualify for Olympics

If she qualifies, it will be Kierra Smith’s second time swimming at the Olympics

The RCMP presence in Central Okanagan public schools is being reviewed by the board of education. (File photo)
RCMP presence welcomed in Central Okanagan public schools

Staff survey feedback overwhelmingly positive from students, staff and parents

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Jane Linden
KCR: Volunteering keeps you active

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Longtime SOWINS volunteer Diane Fru (far left) walks with members of her family as they Walk To End Abuse Sunday, June 13, 2021. South Okanagan Women In Needs Society (SOWINS) raised a record amount this year. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Walk to End Abuse in South Okanagan breaks fundraising record

More than $53,000 raised so far while the pandemic has increased need for SOWINS’ services

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

Most Read