While working on the Skaha Creek wildfire, one of the Fireboss airtankers had to make a precautionary landing on Skaha Lake on Monday. The skimmer plane has since been beached so that engineers can investigate what the issue is, said BC Wildfire.
They are asking people to stay clear of this aircraft and all aircraft picking up water out of Skaha and Okanagan Lakes so they can continue to operate safely.
“When skimmers are working, leave them a large berth,” said BC Wildfire’s Roslyn Johnson. “If boaters get too close they put themselves and the pilot in real danger.”
Pictures of boaters getting far too close to the skimmers on Sunday were posted on Facebook. In contrast, Monday saw almost no boaters using Okanagan Lake.
The Skaha Creek fire is more than 200 hectares in size and now considered a ‘fire of note’ by BC Wildfire.
There were five helicopters, nine skimmers, and three air tankers supporting the ground crews yesterday. The skimmers are providing cooling action and air tankers were putting down lines of retardant.
Heavy equipment worked along the west flank constructing guards and crews worked using the direct attack method along the east flank.
This fire is highly visible throughout Penticton, surrounding communities and Highway 97. There are no structures threatened at this time, said BC Wildfire. The fire continues to be a low to moderately vigorous surface fire with visible open flame.
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