Archives for August 17, 2015
Alpha Truss is a small mill for trusses. Police warned of propane tanks. Acrid smoke near a busy highway – east of Silica Pit. No known injuries. Gas masks needed to work in the area.
Just south of 6851 Hwy 97 North – On a map right across Hwy from Alliance Church (Leighton Crescent)
Alpha Truss located next to the river south of Pacific Silica – retail outlet. It is the former Mac and Fitz packinghouse.
In response to the incredible efforts and courage shown by Emergency Services personnel during the Wilson Mountain and Testalinda fires this weekend, an appreciation event is planned for this Thursday, August 20th at Oliver Community Park.
“The fire fighters worked so hard Friday night to keep the flames from reaching our neighbour’s homes. Some came within feet.”, says Emergency Support Service Coordinator Janette Van Vianen, “Without them we would have been in a lot of trouble.”
This Thursday at 6:30pm the Oliver and Area C community will get the chance to publicly thank individuals from the Oliver, Willowbrook, Osoyoos and OK Falls Fire Departments, Oliver Osoyoos Search & Rescue, Penticton Search and Rescue, BC Forest Service Wildfire Management, the many ESS volunteers from Penticton, Summerland and Oliver who operated the Fire Reception Centre and the local businesses, volunteer organizations and individuals who donated bedding, food and supplies to those in need.
All are welcome to come show their appreciation and take part in the festivities.
A special appreciation dinner for the Emergency Services crews and those involved in the operations will be provided with thanks from the Town of Oliver. Live entertainment featuring railway songs from the Kettle Valley Brakemen will be presented by the Oliver Community Arts Council and the regular Evening Market featuring local produce and artisan products will take place. There will a thank you card making station and bouncy castles and face painting courtesy of Fun4Life.
For more information please contact the Oliver Community Centre at 250-498-4985.
The summer of 2015 is one to go on the record books for wild fires in the Oliver area.
In the early 1970’s, each summer, we had a number wild fires. There was one that was very large, started from north of the old Fairview town site and burned to the area several kilometers west of the White Lake Observatory, a great distance but not for a windy afternoon.
I fought that fire, one of many Oliver young men to be hired by the Forest Service to man the fire guards. That was when my good friend Bob Campbell was killed in an auto crash at Haynes Point.
The Forest Service gave everyone time off to attend the funeral, but all were expected to return to their duties on the fire line ; to my knowledge everyone did.
There wasn’t much work involved in watching the fire line. The line was established once the Caterpillars cleared a wide dirt boundary between the unburned ground and the burned ground.
My job was to make sure the fire didn’t cross the guard. We were armed with a shovel or a pulaski which is a two side tool ; has an ax on one side and a narrow hoe on the other.
My section to watch was on the south side of the fire, the wind blew north, there was no chance of the fire coming back upon me. Sometimes the wind will change and blow the fire back across the fire guard which puts lives in peril, for no man can out run a speeding fire.
All the hot spots were long dead ; the man power was there just in case.
There were hero’s that fought that fire. The Glufke brothers and Tony Kamin helped save the University of British Columbia’s Geology Camp. They happened to be in the area when the fire tore through. The boys put out spot fires.
The wind pushed the fire through the tree tops by a method called crowning. From crowning the fire rained down upon the ground below igniting spot fires which spread.
Where there weren’t trees, the fire raced across the ground burning everything in it’s path. In tinder dry conditions bushes exploded raining sparks everywhere.
Reaching a tree, the flames raced up to the top, the wind blew the sparks afield. The tree top next door caught fire and the crowning began again in earnest.
That is why a wild fire cannot be stopped in the afternoon during the heat of the day. Even during the cool of the evening a large fire will create its own wind. Everyone hopes the wind will change direction and the fire will burn back into itself.
The Observatory was never in any danger. The wind died down in the evening and allowed a fire guard to be pushed through stopping the fire’s advancement. It took a few days for the guard to be completely pushed around the fire.
All that was left was the mop up. Forestry crews walked through the burnt area and extinguished all smoking remnants.
I have been unable to discover today’s standard for determining when a wild fire is to be declared out. It used to be that after the last remnant was extinguished, there could be no more embers for 30 days, then the fire was officially declared out.
Surely there is someone who reads this column who is more knowledgeable than I and could tell us all when a fire is officially out?
In the ’70’s there were fewer homes built in the bush so personal property loss wouldn’t have been as great as it will be today; that is the worst part of today’s fires. I can’t imagine the loss of one’s home.
My prayer is that good judgement will prevail and that everyone will be safe.
As comments to ODN show, the first response to the drone was amazement that someone could be so stupid, the next response, was “let’s go get em”. This is a typical knee jerk reaction of all of us in this situation but the idea of a lynch mob descending on the suspected owner of the drone, is rather scary.
Putting the whole town at risk was appalling but, probably not the intention of the user. He/she was incredibly stupid but almost certainly had not thought it through properly.
I personally hate the idea of drones ruining our privacy, there are rules about where and when they can be used but, we all know that rules do not prevent people from doing what they want to do. It was stated by one of your readers that drones were not allowed within 9 km of any airport. Does this not mean that drones are illegal in Oliver, where the airstrip is bang in the middle of town?
The firefighters have done a marvellous job of keeping our town safe and I truly think that we should get together as a community and do something to thank them for our safety. Any ideas of what we could do? As a caterer, I would be willing to put on a meal for these heroes, if you could get Parks and Rec dept to donate. the Community Centre for the event and if about a dozen people would volunteer to help do the work. I would happily donate and cook the food.
Thanks for doing such a great job of keeping the town informed of the situation and all the regular updates. Up to date information is always necessary during crises times and you were right on the button with your updates. You have earned a place at the table if the dinner comes off.
Residents in homes near the two fires in the South Okanagan have been advised they may
The orders issued by the Regional District have been lifted in Osoyoos and Oliver.
Since the fires are not completely out – evacuation alerts remain in effect.
Oliver Mtn – some smoke and a couple hot spots
Testalinda Canyon – a real smoke machine – fire hard to see
Hwy 97 South – a few hot spots visible – black carbon to feed new grass
Below: the fight ends with ground crews – large contingent – camping and organizing at SOSS.
The main battle is over – thanks to all fire fighters – local and forestry crews.