Soldiers may be in Princeton for two to three weeks, and will be visiting town. Photo Andrea DeMeer

Military arrives in Princeton to help mop up Cool Creek wildfire

Soldiers have also worked on the Gottfriedsen Mountain and Juliet Creek fires

The Canadian Armed Forces marched into the community of Princeton Friday afternoon to establish a camp for approximately 110 soldiers who are backing up the efforts of the BC Wildfire Service.

The personnel are assigned to mop up duties on the Cool Creek fire, which is burning out of control 20 km northeast of Eastgate.

“Our job is to be that second line of support,” said Major James Anderson, commanding officer. “We are soldiers, not firefighters…but I can roll up a hose if you show me how to roll up a hose.”

Soldiers were previously stationed near Merritt, and have worked on the Gottfriedsen Mountain and Juliet Creek fires.

The military’s contribution allows firefighters to address more aggressive areas of the blaze, according to Noelle Kekula, BC Wildfire information officer.

“They are helping us with mopping up and patrolling and it’s just more boots on the ground to help us increase the black line around that fire,” she said.

“There’s a job for every firefighter out there so it will definitely free us up so we can put our BC resources in other areas.”

Cool Creek is measured at 12,685 hectares and took suppression crews by surprise Thursday with increased activity.

Related: Seasonal cabins threatened by Cool Creek blaze

“[Fire] columns started interacting and building off of each other. Fire creates its own wind and its own environment. We saw behaviour in all sites of the fire,” said Kekula.

“The good news is that it still stayed within our planned boundary, our planned control area. It did challenge us in areas and it did jump a few guards that we had, but it’s still in our bigger planned area where we are expecting it to go.”

Friday there were 106 firefighters and other personnel actioning the blaze, supported by heavy equipment.

Tents were rising quickly Friday afternoon at the Ground Search and Rescue property located adjacent to the Princeton airport.

Anderson said Princeton may be home to the armed forces for two to three weeks.

“The soldiers are not confined to camp, so you will be seeing some folks in town.”

Related: B.C. ends state of emergency, 485 wildfires still burning

To report a typo, email:
publisher@similkameenspotlight.com
.



andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

 

Major James Anderson, commanding officer. Photo Andrea DeMeer

Just Posted

Blaze takes commercial building in Louis Creek Industrial Park

Firefighters, paramedics and RCMP from Barriere and Chu Chua were on scene

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health

The total number of Interior Health cases since the beginning of the pandemic is now at 522

Bear sightings continue in District of Clearwater

One bear was seen taking a lounge in a resident’s backyard

Orange Shirt Day

To the Editor, Since May, 2013, in British Columbia when Orange Shirt… Continue reading

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Money laundering inquiry delayed over of B.C. election: commissioner

Austin Cullen says the hearings will start again on Oct. 26

Most Read