Suspicion over south coast blazes again

Frost and the snow are a nuisance for both firefighters and searchers, said Ken Wiebe, a South Coast fire chief. It’s also not the first time they’ve seen such problems.

An air tanker that had to make an emergency landing in the storm at the north end of the northbound Afton Bluffs at about 7 p.m. Saturday (April 29) didn’t have air conditioning but had ample water for its crew to go dry-jacketed.

The fire chief was the only one of his team to go dry-jacketed for 10 hours Saturday afternoon.

“It’s a hard-charging job,” said Wiebe. “It has been raining more that it should because it’s so early.”

It has been raining more than it should because it’s so early. Ken Wiebe, South Coast fire chief

But the snow-blowing isn’t being as costly for the fire department as other areas are, he said.

The most critical part o???????????????f this operation is finding crews with winter gear ??? which makes up about 30 percent of the work force ??? the snow-free crews won’t need.

And they’ll have fresh oxygen and food to refuel. That’ll help to get their crews through the night.
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“We’re going to need to find it pretty quickly,” Wiebe said.

Meanwhile, Wiebe said, firefighters will need to get some sleep early.

But there will be plenty of time for fire crews and searchers to continue trying to make contact with missing loved ones who were not located in the storm.

In the morning, as more crews began to arrive at a site on the north side of the lake, many of them were still trying to locate a missing person’s tent, Wiebe said.

At least two tents were located at this spot Saturday morning as searchers focused on finding a location for an air tanker. Officials are concerned the missing person is not here.

Ferry boat on snowbank

Fire Chief David Brown said firefighters were still searching at least two spots on the snow-covered lakefront after being called in to help.

Fire officials say it is too early to talk about possible conditions for the area after the storm has passed.

In the morning, officials released three more people missing from the area. Three others who ????????? ?????????were missing on Saturday were located overnight in the northern region and returned safely.