Thieves and off-road motorists slowing down firefighting efforts

By Vanessa Ybarra
July 29, 2017 - 2:13pm Updated: July 29, 2017 - 4:11pm

KAMLOOPS —  It isn't just flames firefighters are having to worry about.

Chief Provincial Information Officer Kevin Skrepnek says they've seen a recent increase in thieves stealing hoses and water pumps in areas where crews are battling wildfires.

He says the issue has been particularly bad in the Cariboo region.

RCMP and conservation members have stepped up patrols in problem areas in an effort to cut down on thefts.

Skrepnek says people off-roading in fire-zone areas is also becoming an increasing issue.

"In the last few days we've had multiple incidents of helicopter operations that were forced to stop as a result of people accessing an area," said Skrepnek. "We've also had continued issues with people on lakes getting in the way of helicopters and water skimming aircraft that are trying to use the lake to access water."

Cariboo and Southern Interior residents are reminded to maintain a safe distance from areas where fire crews are working.



Crews battling grass fire on East Shuswap Road