As of July 13, there were no wildfires burning in the Yankee Flats/Falkland area, and only one small fire in the Kamloops Fire Centre at Mara Hills, between Kamloops and Ashcroft. (Wildfire BC photo)

As of July 13, there were no wildfires burning in the Yankee Flats/Falkland area, and only one small fire in the Kamloops Fire Centre at Mara Hills, between Kamloops and Ashcroft. (Wildfire BC photo)

Shuswap residents see aircraft dropping fire retardant in direction of Falkland

BC Wildfire Service says no fire, crews in two air tankers and a bird dog were just practising

While Silver Creek residents could see what appeared to be planes fighting a wildfire on July 13, it turned out looks were deceiving – and alarming for some.

BC Wildfire Service reported the aircraft seen dumping what looked like fire retardant on Monday afternoon in the direction of Falkland above Yankee Flats were only practising.

Fire information officer Gagan Lidhran said two air tankers and one bird dog were carrying out training between Salmon Arm and Kamloops.

She said normally at this time of year BC Wildfire Service’s contractors would have been working on real fires by now.

“Our contractors need to keep practising to ensure they maintain that level of proficiency when actual fires start.”

Lidhran said they were not dropping retardant used on the fire line, but a water based solution with some retardant residue from the air tankers.

Read more: Almost 99% less land in B.C. burned this year compared to 2018

Read more: Salmon Arm homeowners have role in reducing wildfire risk

Read more: What can you do to protect your property from wildfires?

Meanwhile, the site of aircraft appearing to fight a fire relatively nearby was worrying for at least one Silver Creek resident.

“We had no idea what was going on and multiple loads of red retardant were being used,” Blu Hopkins told the Observer. “I have PTSD and I was really upset and anxious after being evacuated twice before from our home. It was extremely inconsiderate and irresponsible for the wildfire service to conduct this type of training exercise in this area in particular, without informing the residents of Silver Creek that this was happening.”


marthawickett@saobserver.net
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Salmon ArmWildfire season

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP Cpl. Cory Lepine pictured at BC Livestock Producers Co. in Kamloops, Nov. 16. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Meet B.C.’s only cowboy cop; a voice for the livestock industry

Cpl. Cory Lepine serves as a bridge between the law and those who make a living off the land

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League is mouring the death of former president Len Dergousoff of Salmon Arm. The longtime Revelstoke Grizziies board member, who was president from 1999-2002, lost a year-long battle with cancer at age 80. (Dergousoff family photo)
Former KIJHL president dies after cancer battle

Len Dergousoff, 80, of Salmon Arm, was longtime Revelstoke Grizzlies exec, president 1999-2002

This is rendering of what the playground of the new provincially funded child care centre could look like on Edmonton Ave.
New Penticton childcare centre could be ready in 2022

The provincially funded facility would provide 116 new childcare spots

Social media, including sites like Facebook, play an important role in contemporary society. (Dreamstime/TNS photo)
QUIZ: How much do you know about social behaviour?

Social conventions, including social distancing, are part of living in a society

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Long-awaited federal rent subsidy program for businesses hurt by COVID-19 opens today

The new program will cover up to 65 per cent of rent or commercial mortgage interest

Multiple protesters cited unsubstantiated claims about the virus and the belief that their “rights are being violated” as reasons for their attendance. (Jesse Day - Western News)
‘End the lock-down’ protesters hit the streets in Penticton

The group plans to gather every weekend until restrictions have been lifted, organizer says

Kelowna’s Post-Modern Connection performs for Riot on the Roof on the top of the Vernon Parkade Saturday, Aug. 22. The band is scheduled to play in the “Live @ The KCT” series in Kelowna on Dec. 4. (Vernon Public Art Gallery photo)
Kelowna concert series moves online due to new health orders

Rebellious Unicorns series ‘Live @ The KCT’ has moved to an online model until further notice

Kelowna City Hall. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna city staff recommend allocation for nearly $8M provincial COVID-19 grant

Staff suggest the funds be used for lost revenues, support for the Kelowna International Airport

An Oceana Canada audit of Canadian fish stocks reveals a growing number with critical populations, calling on Fisheries and Oceans Canada to enact existing commitments. (File photo)
B.C.’s declining fisheries the result of poor DFO management: audit

Oceana Canada calls for follow through on government commitments

Most Read