Lightning blankets the Southern Interior of B.C. sparking 22 new wildfires in the region. Image: Kayleigh Seibel/Black Press Media

Non-wildfire related calls line plague dispatchers, block line

The logjam of callers Tuesday night resulted in long wait times for people legitimately calling about new fire activity.

Responders at BC Wildfire Service have an important message for everyone.

Do not call their *5555 emergency number set up to report fires, unless you are actually reporting a fire.

Tuesday night saw 38 new fires spark across the province and an overwhelming number of calls flooded the fire reporting line.

The logjam of callers resulted in long wait times for people legitimately calling about new fire activity.

Related: More lightning forecast as storm sparks 38 new wildfires in B.C.

Related: 911 jams causes panic among residents

Related: More thunderstorms on the way as fires still burn

And that’s partly because some people were calling just to get updates on fire activity in their area.

“There were individuals in some areas that had challenges getting through,” said Claire Allen, fire information officer.

“We really appreciate the calls, but we want to make sure it stays a reporting line,” said Allen.

Another problem was people reporting fires that weren’t new, and many of those calls came from the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys, she said.

“That’s a very dense population corridor and the fires that broke out last night were extremely visible.”

Allen stressed that calls from the public to report fires are “invaluable to us,” while urging responsible use of *5555.

To report a typo, email:
publisher@similkameenspotlight.com
.



andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Super blood wolf moon fills Okanagan skies, to photographers’ delight

Photographers had a rare chance Sunday to capture a rare lunar eclipse

Mustangs sting Hornets in home victory for second place tie

Maggie Mustangs defeat the visiting South Okanagan Hornets in senior boys basketball

Keremeos cannabis shop waiting on provincial approval

Quantum 1 has applications in with the province to open seven stores including one in Keremeos

Creator of trans webcomic series Assigned Male coming to Penticton

Stop is part of French-Canadian author Sophie Labelle’s Serious Trans Vibes Tour

Okanagan weightlifting record-holder eyeing World Championship

The Summerland resident took home silver in the 2017 World Master Games

Video: 100 days until the David E. Kampe Tower opens

Penticton Regional Hospital started the 100-day countdown until the new tower opens to the public

B.C. man arrested in connection to 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

Man admits responsibility for 2016 death of Shuswap motorcyclist

Brian Watson, 60, died after being struck while riding his motorcycle on Squilax-Anglemont Road

Parole granted for drunk driver that killed BC RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

Doug Ford says the Liberals’ carbon tax will plunge Canada into recession

The Ontario premier said there are already warning signs of difficult economic times ahead

Kamloops video rental store robbed for second time in 8 days

Movie Mart was robbed on Jan. 11 and held up again on Saturday afternoon under very similar circumstances

Kamala Harris opens U.S. presidential bid in challenge to Trump

The 54-year old portrayed herself as a fighter for justice, decency and equality in a video distributed by her campaign

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Woman offers luxury Alberta home for just $25 and a flair for the written word

Alla Wagner ran into health problems, which forced her to list the 5,000-square-foot estate at market value

Most Read