The B.C. Wildfire Service has been in the South Okanagan for a couple days, now, on a seven-day contract to help sandbag areas to help mitigate flooding in the area — particularly around Willowbrook and Sportsmens Bowl Road. Dustin Godfrey/Western News

Thieves target B.C. firefighters helping flood victims

The service has been helping with sandbagging efforts, as rural Oliver battles flooding

UPDATE: 12:21 p.m.

RCMP says five B.C. Wildfire Service vehicles were affected by thefts at the Coast Hotel in Osoyoos.

Cst. Sangl with the Osoyoos detachment said there were no break-ins in the vehicles, which had compartments left unlocked.

The Oliver RCMP detachment said Thursday they have seen a spree of thefts from vehicles, the majority of which have come from unlocked vehicles. Sgt. Blaine Gervais with the Oliver detachment reminded residents to lock vehicles, particularly when valuables are inside.

However, Sangl could not say whether or not the Osoyoos incident was connected to the Oliver thefts from vehicles, but said the firefighters were frustrated by the thefts at a time when they are assisting the region with flooding issues.

“We’re all frustrated,” he said. “Least to say it impedes their work when people steal their stuff.”

Sangl said things like hardhats, sleeping bags, tents and personal clothing were among the items missing, but did not have a value for the stolen items yet.

“It looks like they took whatever they could,” he said. “Probably go through it later and determine what’s off value, what’s not.”

—-

UPDATE: 10:50 a.m.

The Oliver RCMP detachment says there is a file open of B.C. Wildfire Service vehicles being broken into in Osoyoos.

A call has been put in to the Osoyoos RCMP detachment.

—-

ORIGINAL: 9:30 a.m.

A B.C. Wildfire Service vehicle was broken into this week in the South Okanagan while they help mitigate flooding issues in rural Oliver, according to the regional district.

Details are scarce, but in a tweet, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen said it was “disappointing” to hear that a B.C. Wildfire Service vehicle was broken into.

The Province of B.C. has provided over 50 fire fighters from B.C. Wildfire Service, who are working in areas affected by flooding in the south Okanagan north of Oliver, according to the RDOS.

The Willowbrook and Sportsmens Bowl Road areas have been impacted by high water flows this spring, with the freshet still yet to come.

Those communities are currently under a state of local emergency, with an emergency operations centre being run out of the RDOS boardroom in Penticton.

B.C. Wildfire crews have been strengthening sandbag barriers in these locations over the last few days, as well as preparing sandbags for use in strategic areas.

As the spring freshet approaches, the RDOS said it will be “invaluable” to have the extra manpower in place.

Nearly 150 homes are under evacuation alert in the Sportsmens Bowl Road area, with one home evacuated due to “debris and tree” blocking her driveway, causing emergency evacuation concerns.

Just Posted

Abbotsford parent OK with manure facility near school getting permit

Shannon Gaudette says permitting the currently illegal operation would mean tight regulations

Filmmakers tackle topic of youth and the social media epidemic

Mother and daughter from Abbotsford and Mission team up to create Selfless documentary

Mount Vernon defeats Burnaby South in Snowball final

Knights down Rebels 95-77 to earn 2019 championship, Abbotsford’s Mouat Hawks finish third

Abbotsford Week in Review: Jan. 13-19

Man sentenced to death in China has local connections, class opt-out clause dropped in new policy and more

Vancouver Motorcycle Show underway at Abbotsford’s Tradex

Event runs until 8 p.m. Saturday, and opens one last day tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Keep focus on helping Canadians at home, Trudeau tells MPs at start of meeting

Trudeau said the Liberals will offer Canadians hope amid issue like climate change and global tensions

Pettersson returns to lead Canucks to 3-2 win over Red Wings

Vancouver’s super rookie has 2 points in first game back after knee injury

Crash closes Coquihalla southbound lane south of Merritt

Accident occurred approximately 26 kilometres south of Merritt

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

12 poisoned eagles found on Vancouver Island

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Olympic softball qualifier to be held in B.C.

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

B.C. resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

B.C. VIEWS: Fact-checking the NDP’s speculation tax on empty homes

Negative-option billing is still legal for governments

Most Read