B.C. Wildfire Service radio site vandalized

Remote repeater station near Creston destroyed, replacement will cost at least $80,000 to restore firefighting communications

With the forest fire hazard rating on the rise in B.C., the B.C. Wildfire Service is forced to replace an $80,000 radio communications station in the Kootenays that was wrecked by vandals.

The equipment on Thompson Mountain is accessible from the Thompson Rim Trail near Creston, and was damaged between July 29 and Aug. 2. The replacement will be relocated to a more secure area, and anyone with information is asked to contact their local RCMP detachment or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

The B.C. Wildfire Service has radio repeater stations throughout the province to allow quick communication when wildfires become aggressive and unpredictable.

As of Thursday there were 17 wildfires larger than 10 hectares burning in B.C., including two in the Fort St. John area that have been burning since April. After a hot start in northeastern B.C., this year’s fire season has been well below average, but conditions have been drier in recent weeks for many areas.