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Cariboo crews, businesses, supporting wildfire response efforts

Williams Lake Fire Department and a couple of businesses are supporting firefighters, evacuees

Wildfire efforts in other parts of the province are being assisted by some in the Cariboo this week.

Both the Williams Lake Fire Department and some lakecity businesses are mobilizing to help out with the response.

Six members of the Williams Lake Fire Department (WLFD) have been deployed to fight fire in the Kelowna, West Kelowna and Lakes District areas.

Evan Dean, WLFD fire chief said it is good to be able to give back to some of the communities which helped out here so much during the 2017 wildfire season.

The initial request for resources came in Thursday last week and WLFD assembled some resources.

READ MORE: B.C. WILDFIRES: Non-essential travel to 6 Okanagan-area cities restricted

Four of the six firefighters were sent down with a water tender on Thursday of last week. More requests continued to come in throughout Thursday and into Friday morning so WLFD organized two more personnel and an older fire engine, which were sent down on Friday.

Dean said he has been in regular contact with the crews, who are pretty happy with how things are going and report the firefighting efforts have been well-organized.

The firefighters have been working 18-hour shifts in recent days, going along the edges of the fires to put out hot spots where it is safe to do so and helping stop continuous spread.

WATCH: VIDEO: West Kelowna inferno crests over ridge; community on high alert

Dean reported things appear to be stabilizing a bit at least as of Monday, so he is hoping the crews won’t have to be down there too long. If required to extend the support, Dean said personnel could be arranged to be swapped out.

Local business Cariboo GM has also teamed up with B&J Trucking and Mandy Enterprises to collect donations of new non-perishable food and personal care items for residents impacted by the wildfires.

B&J Trucking and Mandy Enterprises offered to donate a 53-foot trailer and driver if Cariboo GM would provide the central site for the donation of the items. Once the trailer is full, the items will be sent down to the Kelowna area for the goods to be distributed amongst those in need. Anyone wishing to donate can drop off new, unopened dry goods including food and personal care items like toothpaste and tampons to Cariboo GM at 370 Mackenzie Avenue during regular business hours. They are open Monday to Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

READ MORE: UPDATE: Three homes lost in trailer park fire north of Williams Lake

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Ruth Lloyd

About the Author: Ruth Lloyd

I moved back to my hometown of Williams Lake after living away and joined the amazing team at the Williams Lake Tribune in 2021.
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