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.

 

Major James Anderson, commanding officer. Photo Andrea DeMeer

Just Posted

Chilliwack launches study to evaluate seniors’ housing needs

Goal is to create diverse supply of safe, affordable housing for 55+ in Chilliwack

WATCH: All About Kids and Family Expo in Chilliwack

Fifth annual event had dozens of vendors for both children and adults at Chilliwack Heritage Park

PHOTOS: Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack

Family Day weekend powwow a colourful, vivid celebration of Indigenous culture

ACES grows the love of gardening with annual seed exchange

The event will be returning to Harrison Mills Community Hall on March 1

How much does your city spend per person on snow removal?

Black Press Media compares 2018 ice and snow removal budgets of various Lower Mainland communities

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

CRTC: Telecom industry using unacceptable sales tactics

Regulator held inquiry on sales practices of 12 Canadian providers of wireless and internet services

CRTC report finds ‘misleading, aggressive’ sales tactics used by telecom industry

Report recommends measures to make a fairer situation for consumers

Trudeau takes personal hit amid SNC-Lavalin controversy: poll

Overall, 41 per cent of respondents believed the prime minister had done something wrong in the affair

B.C. photographer captures otters on ice

A Langley photographer was at the right place at the right time on the Fraser River

Do you live with your partner? More and more Canadians don’t

Statistics Canada shows fewer couples live together than did a decade ago

B.C. child killer denied mandatory outings from psychiatric hospital

The B.C. Review Board decision kept things status quo for Allan Schoenborn

Searchers return to avalanche-prone peak in Vancouver to look for snowshoer

North Shore Rescue, Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog teams and personnel will be on Mt. Seymour

5 to start your day

The B.C. government released it’s 2019 budget, we break down snow removal per capita and more

Most Read