The Kelowna Fire Deparment respond to a fire. Photo: West Coast Photography

B.C. fire chief learns from California fires

Chief Travis Whiting and Kelowna Fire Department learn from the devasting U.S. fires

  • Nov. 19, 2018 6:00 a.m.

The 2018 California fires have devastated the west coast state of the U.S. since mid-July. The most recent fires, the Woosley Fire and the Camp Fire have been ravaging the state since the beginning of November. As of Nov. 16, the Camp Fire has killed 63 people so far and has destroyed 10,321 structures which makes it both the deadliest and most destructive California wildfire on record according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

RELATED: Missing-persons list tops 600 in fire-stricken California

The Okanagan area has its own problems with forest fires every year. Kelowna Fire Department Chief Travis Whiting says that the department is constantly learning from devastating fires like the California fires.

“We’re constantly meeting with fire chiefs throughout the Okanagan area to prepare for our season. We come together to see if there are new programs that can help us. Some programs are simple, some are not, ” said Whiting. “At the end of each fire season, we communicate as we learn from the past season.”

But as Whiting claims, there is no direct comparisons to the types of fire in California to the types of fires in the Okanagan.

“From climate differences to the different amount of fuel loads there. The fire behaviour there is not consistent with the fire behaviour here. It’s apples to oranges,” said Whiting.

The B.C. government gave a summary of the 2017 wildfire season, citing it as one of the worst seasons in B.C.’s history with 1.2 million hectares of land burned, over $568 million spend in fire suppression, and roughly 65,000 people displaced.

RELATED: B.C. couple helping wildfire evacuees in northern California

Whiting says being proactive can only go so far.

“Its the unpredictability of the fires,” Whiting explained. “Every fire is different, and mother nature is unpredictable. But we rely on our teams’ responses of getting there early and we’re very aggressive with every fire.”

Whiting says FireSmart helps in the preparation of the fire season and more information can be found here.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Farewell to Parksville Beach Festival for 2019

People’s Choice Awards tallied, organizers report another successful year

Oceanside Generals boost arsenal for coming VIJHL season

Coach Lemmon gets a good look at players at main camp

UPDATE: Nanoose Bay residents miffed as roadwork on Northwest Bay Road causing long delays

‘I sat in traffic for a half-hour and moved approximately 50 feet’

Oceanside RCMP officer makes Alexa’s Team

Munro able to stop and process 15 impaired motorists during the past year

Group aims to preserve French Creek tree

Save Estuary Land Society says bald eagles used tree for nest

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

Parksville man, 75, goes missing from north Nanaimo home

Police dog services called in to help with search

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

Wildfire burning outside of Port Alberni

Coastal Fire Centre on scene

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

Most Read