Stranded campers start fire to signal aircraft

Penticton couple spends four days in bush

A Penticton couple stranded for four days in the bush near Princeton lit a tire on fire over the weekend in an attempt to signal passing aircraft.

“It was kind of a last ditch effort to draw attention to themselves and thankfully it didn’t spread into the forest,” said RCMP Corporal Chad Parsons.

The pair also wrote SOS on a tarp.

The man and woman, ages 57 and 51 respectively, were discovered by RCMP Monday as they walked out of the bush about four kilometres from Princeton Summerland Road.

They had been intent on a camping trip in the Siwash Road region, but their truck was high centered in a wash out area, said Parsons.

Princeton police received a call from the Penticton detachment for assistance, after the couple failed to return home as scheduled.

When found by police they were sweaty and disheveled, but did not require medical attention.

“It’s a good thing we found them when we did.”

Parsons said the couple slept several nights in their truck.

“One day they woke up and there were cougar paw prints on the windshield,” he said.

Parsons stressed that starting a fire in the bush under present conditions is not recommended even in dire circumstances.

Open burning was banned in the Kamloops Fire Centre June 21, and a campfire ban was implemented July 26.

“A better option when you go into the bush is to have one of those satellite distress signals.”

Related: Fireworks and fires over a half-metre banned Friday in Kamloops centre

Related: Campfire ban goes into effect Thursday

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