A large fire continues to grow in the in the Oliver-Osoyoos area and has led to evacuation alerts. (Karlee McCarthy Facebook photo)

A large fire continues to grow in the in the Oliver-Osoyoos area and has led to evacuation alerts. (Karlee McCarthy Facebook photo)

RDN: Errington, Coombs-Hilliers fire crews to help battle fire in Osoyoos

Engine, water tender, personnel deployed to the area

Two District 69 area fire departments in the Regional District of Nanaimo have answered a call to help fight wildfires in Osoyoos.

Fire departments unaffected by the wildfires were requested to send fire equipment with crews to help if available. After assessing their local response needs, Errington Volunteer Fire Department and Coombs-Hilliers Volunteer Fire Department have confirmed they are able to support the firefighting efforts in Osoyoos.

“Our local firefighters are well-trained and equipped for interface wildfire suppression and are always willing to help others in need,” said Tyler Brown, RDN chair. “We are fortunate that we have the capacity to free up some of our resources to assist this very serious situation in Osoyoos and our thoughts are with all who are affected by the wildfires.”

On Friday (July 23) Errington Volunteer Fire Department sent their spare engine with a three-person crew and the Coombs-Hilliers Volunteer Fire Department sent a water tender with a two-person crew to assist in the Osoyoos area. Both teams will be deployed for two weeks.

READ MORE: Inkaneep Creek fire near Osoyoos growing, evacuation order issued for band land

Jenny Jones, who joined the CHVFD in 2020, is one of eight female members with the department and proud to be following in her father’s footsteps.

“I grew up being so proud of watching my father fight wildfires. He passed away in 2013 in a line of duty death,” said Jones. “The brotherhood and love that was shown began to open my eyes to trying a new path. I am honoured to help the communities in need during this dangerous summer situation.”

The Dashwood Volunteer Fire Department has been able to provide initial attack capacity to the Coastal Fire Centre mid-Island fire zone. Fire departments in the region are co-ordinating their response to minimize impacts to any one department and retain local response capacity.

The temporary support of this equipment and the crews will not affect local fire response or services within the Regional District of Nanaimo.

For updates on the Interior wildfires, visit the BC Wildfire Service website at: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status. For information on RDN Fire Services, visit: rdn.bc.ca/fire-services

— NEWS Staff, submitted

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