Firefighters move an absorbent boom into place at the mouth of Penticton Creek to block a spill of a petroleum product into Okanagan Lake. (Steve Kidd/Western News)

Fire crews investigating oil sheen on Penticton Creek

Fire crews are working to contain the oil from spreading

A sharp-eyed walker in Okanagan Lake Park helped prevent an oil spill from entering Okanagan Lake Sunday afternoon.

“Somebody was on the bridge and they reported an oil slick on the creek,” said the Penticton Fire Department’s Capt. Ken Younghusband. Firefighters arrived on the scene around 2:30 p.m. and saw the oil sheen on the surface of Penticton Creek and began dealing with the problem.

“We traced it back to a storm drain here and there is a very small amount of oil coming out, or some kind of petroleum product,” said Younghusband, explaining the fire crews and Penticton works crews were trying to trace where it might have entered the storm system.

“We set up a boom at the mouth of the creek and we’re still trying to track down the source,” said Younghusband, who said the spill wouldn’t likely result in any major environmental damage.

“No serious damage, it’s a very small amount. It’s a very short distance too, before we can collect it,” he said, adding that the boom will prevent most of it from getting in the lake.

“I spoke to the ministry of the environment, they gave us a few pointers on how they would like to see that boom set up,” he said. “We are going to leave it in place overnight and come check it in the morning, see if some of the pads need to be changed.

“In the meantime, we are going to try to track down that source and see where it is coming from.”

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