Concerns about a stretch of land near the Okanagan Lake Marina continue after a recent fire on April 15 consumed a shelter built by members of Penticton’s homeless community.
The Penticton RCMP and Penticton Fire Department responded to the fire just before 2 a.m. on April 15 to find a homeless encampment engulfed in flames.
The fire was located in the hilly brush behind the marina, and according to RCMP a massive log structure akin to a log cabin was fully engulfed.
The cause of the fire is suspicious, but no injuries were reported.
Extinguishing the fire required access from Vancouver Place above the marina.
According to assistant fire chief Rob Trupp, the area has seen repeat visits from the fire department over the years involving brush fires, makeshift shelters and first response calls that have become more frequent in recent years.
The dense brush can prove to be hazard, and while bylaw does work to keep transient individuals from setting up, some do make their way to the remote beach area and build small encampments.
The challenge is the beach and camps are set up in remote areas hard to access by foot, said bylaw supervisor Tina Mercier.
“With bylaw, RCMP and Fire Department, we are working together to manage the risk to the area,” said Trupp in an email.”Homeowners can FireSmart their home, keep an eye on the area and report any issues to the proper authorities.”
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