A small spot-size fire north of Vernon was started by two hikers trying lost north of Vernon near Silver Star Sunday.
Vernon Search and Rescue (VSAR) searched Saturday night (Sept. 11), around 11 p.m., for the two way-off-track hikers, said VSAR’s Trevor Honigman.
The couple called 911 but their batteries died after only being able to share their approximate coordinates.
Twenty-two search and rescue members went to search for the couple.
In a post to Instagram, VSAR said the terrain was challenging “to say the least.”
Searchers started in low temperatures and freezing rain, climbing over deadfall, belly-crawling under even more and bushwhacking through kilometres of mountainous slopes.
The search continued Sunday (Sept. 12) with help search and rescue teams from the Shuswap, Kelowna, Penticton and Kamloops.
“While en route to scene on Sunday morning, a VSAR member noticed a thin trail of smoke in the distance,” the social media post reads. “He reported it and a team was soon tasked on an assignment to search the area.
“After a three-hour hike, teams located our missing hikers in good health and spirits.”
Due to wildfire activity in the area, VSAR reported the small fire to BC Wildfire Services, who responded with a helicopter that dumped buckets of water on the fire to ensure it was fully extinguished.
“These two hikers were moderately well prepared, but like many people, they relied on their phones for communication and for navigation,” Honigman said. “We are pleading with people who want to go into the backcountry to always carry a physical compass and map, things that will help them that won’t rely on batteries.”
VSAR said despite the challenges and the “unintentional functional fitness testing” the teams returned “amidst lots of laughter.”
“VSAR is truly blessed to have such a great team and with the ability to work with our neighbouring teams.”
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