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Wildfire crews, RCMP warn watercraft users to avoid north end of Coldstream lake

Helicopters and airplanes having problems with watercraft on Kal Lake as they try to reload to battle Becker Lake wildfire
B.C. Wildfire Service helicopters battling the Becker Lake Fire near Vernon have been having problems with watercraft interfering with their ability to draw water from the north end of Kalalmalka Lake. (Wayne Emde photo)

The B.C. Wildfire Service issued a warning to boaters on Kalamalka Lake in Coldstream Sunday, July 11.

Service air tankers are currently picking up water at the north end of the lake for the Becker Lake wildfire, and operations are being impacted by boaters interfering with firefighting aircraft.

“”This is dangerous to both people on the boat and to our personnel, and interferes with critical firefighting operations,” said B.C. Wildfire on its Twitter feed.

People are being advised to stay away from active wildfire sites whether on the water, ground or air.

Firefighting operations on the Becker Lake Fire were suspended for a couple of hours Saturday afternoon after a report of a drone being in the area.

Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP have also issued a release Sunday, July 11.

“To allow the aircraft to operate safely, the public and ALL WATERCRAFT are required to move out of the area immediately and avoid the north end of Kalamalka Lake until further notice,” said media relations officer Const. Chris Terleski. “The Vernon North Okanagan RCMP, Vernon Search and Rescue, and BC Conservation Officers will be out on the water to ensure compliance. Anyone who is found interfering with wildfire operations could face a hefty fine, or even jail time.”

READ MORE: Evacuation alert issued for Becker Lake Fire in Vernon

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About the Author: Vernon Morning Star Staff

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