Marine crews are fighting to keep sailors away from wildfires near Sicamous

VANCOUVER – The weather is not the only challenge for crew members battling a fire near Sicamous, BC There are also sailors.

The Two Mile Road fire is just two kilometers from Sicamous and is burning out of control along the shores of Lake Mara.

On Tuesday, the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Shuswap Station issued a prayer to boaters asking them to stay away.

But it seems that some do not get the message.

On Wednesday, station manager Ron Sutherland said water bombers had to interrupt at least one flight to refill their pontoons because boats were in the way.

“It’s like herding cattle. “If you have tried to herd cattle, it is very difficult,” Sutherland told CTV News. “People just seem to want to get in the way and get a better overview. It’s just not good. It just gets in the way. ”

Crews were eventually able to clear the space.

“The RCMP boat was there too, they stopped a couple of boats, we got a couple of boats and finally got them moved back, and the next fly past (the water bombs) finally got to fill up their pontoons, ” he said. said.

Under BC’s Wildfire Act, a sailor who gets in the way of firefighting aircraft could be fined $ 1,150 or an administrative penalty of up to $ 100,000. The person could also be charged with an offense under the Wildfire Act, which carries a maximum fine of $ 100,000.

Sutherland says his organization is run by volunteers and does not have the authority to issue fines, but RCMP officers do. He also adds that boaters have so far moved on after being told it once.

The fire that threatened Sicamous started after a van hit a hydro-pole, knocked it over and caused power lines to sparkle in dry grass for 100 meters in both directions, according to the city mayor.

It happened just before noon. 11 Tuesday, and by evening, the fire had forced a thousand people to flee their homes, leaving most of the rest of the residents in evacuation alarms.

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