The Kelowna Fire Deparment respond to a fire. Photo: West Coast Photography

The Kelowna Fire Deparment respond to a fire. Photo: West Coast Photography

B.C. fire chief learns from California fires

Chief Travis Whiting and Kelowna Fire Department learn from the devasting U.S. fires

  • Nov. 19, 2018 6:00 a.m.

The 2018 California fires have devastated the west coast state of the U.S. since mid-July. The most recent fires, the Woosley Fire and the Camp Fire have been ravaging the state since the beginning of November. As of Nov. 16, the Camp Fire has killed 63 people so far and has destroyed 10,321 structures which makes it both the deadliest and most destructive California wildfire on record according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

RELATED: Missing-persons list tops 600 in fire-stricken California

The Okanagan area has its own problems with forest fires every year. Kelowna Fire Department Chief Travis Whiting says that the department is constantly learning from devastating fires like the California fires.

“We’re constantly meeting with fire chiefs throughout the Okanagan area to prepare for our season. We come together to see if there are new programs that can help us. Some programs are simple, some are not, ” said Whiting. “At the end of each fire season, we communicate as we learn from the past season.”

But as Whiting claims, there is no direct comparisons to the types of fire in California to the types of fires in the Okanagan.

“From climate differences to the different amount of fuel loads there. The fire behaviour there is not consistent with the fire behaviour here. It’s apples to oranges,” said Whiting.

The B.C. government gave a summary of the 2017 wildfire season, citing it as one of the worst seasons in B.C.’s history with 1.2 million hectares of land burned, over $568 million spend in fire suppression, and roughly 65,000 people displaced.

RELATED: B.C. couple helping wildfire evacuees in northern California

Whiting says being proactive can only go so far.

“Its the unpredictability of the fires,” Whiting explained. “Every fire is different, and mother nature is unpredictable. But we rely on our teams’ responses of getting there early and we’re very aggressive with every fire.”

Whiting says FireSmart helps in the preparation of the fire season and more information can be found here.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

bc wildfiresCity of KelownaKelowna Fire Department

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

Just Posted

Motorists breaking travel rules can be fined $230 for failing to follow instructions or $575 if the reason for travel violates the essential travel health order, at this Highway 3 check area near Manning Park. Photo RCMP
RCMP begin stopping drivers on BC highways – check point at Manning Park

Four check points are set up Thursday May 6 around the province

The Aquilini Investment Group has agreed to a proposed contract of five years to run the Abbotsford Centre. (File photo)
Proposal to run Abbotsford Centre offered to Canucks ownership group

Planned five-year contract to cost city $750K annually, starting Jan. 1, 2022

The AHL Board of Governors has approved the Vancouver Canucks decision to move their franchise to Abbotsford. (File photo)
AHL approves Canucks’ franchise relocation to Abbotsford

Board of Governors approves move, season set to start on Oct. 15

Abbotsford Police Department Traffic Enforcement Unit officers were enforcing Highway 11 on Thursday morning. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
Abbotsford police enforce traffic on Highway 11

APD Traffic Enforcement Unit regularly responds to general public hot spot complaints

First responders were on the scene at West Oaks Mall following a collision involving a pedestrian on Sept. 29, 2020. (Kevin MacDonald file photo)
Man charged in relation to hit-and-run that injured pedestrian in Abbotsford

Collision took place in September 2020 in crosswalk at West Oaks Mall

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Surrey RCMP is investigating after a serious three-vehicle crash at the intersection of King George Boulevard and 128th Street Thursday afternoon (May 6, 2021). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
VIDEO: Serious crash in Surrey sends 1 to hospital

Surrey RCMP say one of the drivers fled on foot, but was later found at an area hospital

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

John Paul Fraser, executive director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association. (Screen shot)
Salmon farmers warn Surrey jobs on line as feds end Discovery Islands operations

344 full-time jobs at risk in Surrey and 1,189 B.C.-wide

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Photo of suspected cat thief released by Victoria police actually just woman with her pet

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read