The sun broke through the clouds Sunday as these firefighters debriefed at the Penticton Wildfire Symposium, but wet weather over the past few days did present some challenges for the live fire training sessions. (Steve Kidd/Western News) Firefighters, representing a number of B.C. communities get debriefed at one of the staging areas, at Munson Mountain.sessions. (Steve Kidd/Western News)

Penticton to host wildfire training symposium

More than 150 B.C. firefighters to participate in three-day training event

Firefighters from around the province will be in Penticton next weekend for the Wildland Urban Interface Wildfire Training Symposium.

The event, which will be held May 3 to 5, is hosted by the City of Penticton Fire Department and will bring 150 firefighters from 25 jurisdictions across the province.

This is the second year for the event.

The symposium is designed to improve knowledge of and response to wildfires.

It includes training exercises including supervised burning and the deployment of firefighters, apparatus and aircraft in the Campbell Mountain, Sendero Canyon and West Bench ares.

Symposium organizers say the training will be carried out by knowledgeable, experienced professionals.

“The Penticton Fire Department wishes to thank all Penticton residents in advance for their patience and understand while this essential training exercise is carried out,”said Penticton fire chief Larry Watkinson. “The knowledge gained through this event benefits not only our local firefighters and the residents they protect, but also the crews and residents from the nearly 12 dozen BC communities who also respond to events involving wildland urban interface conditions.”

During the symposium, Penticton residents may see smoke on Campbell Mountain.

The parking lot on Campbell Mountain and next to Rotary Park will be closed during the symposium, but local roads will not be closed.

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