2003 Okanagan Mountain Park Fire
|2003 Okanagan Mountain Park Fire|
|Location||Okanagan Mountain Park|
|Date(s)||August 16, 2003|
|Ignition source||lightning strike|
|Land use||Parkland, Rural|
|Injuries (non-fatal)||water bomber crash|
On August 16, 2003, a wildfire was started near Rattlesnake Island in Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park in British Columbia, Canada. The wildfire was fuelled by a constant wind and one of the driest summers in the past decade. Within a few days it had grown into a true firestorm.
The fire grew northward and eastward, initially threatening a small number of lakeshore homes, but quickly became an interface zone fire and forced the evacuation of 27,000 residents and consumed 239 homes. The final size of the firestorm was over 250 square kilometers (61,776 acres). Most of the trees in Okanagan Mountain Park were burned, and the park was closed.
60 fire departments, 1,400 armed forces troops and 1,000 forest fire fighters took part in controlling the fire, but were largely helpless in stopping the disaster.
There were also at least 3 Air Spray (1967) Ltd. owned Canadair CL-215s, 4 Government of Alberta owned Canadair CL-215s, 4 Air Spray (1967) Ltd. owned Lockheed L188 Electra airtankers and at least one Martin Mars air tanker working the fire. Tragically, one air tanker and one helicopter crashed, killing three firefighters 
Amateur radio operators helped pass emergency traffic during this emergency.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 2003 Okanagan Mountain Park Fire.|
- "Okanagan Mountain Fire: house sites aftermath". Retrieved 14 January 2009. Photographs of housing sites a few weeks after the fire, in September and October, 2003. Dr. Denis Wall Copyright.
- "Okanagan Mountain Fire Watch". Castanet.net. Archived from the original on 20 September 2005. Retrieved September 30, 2005. - Firewatch page set up for local residents during the fire (has many photos)
- NASA/JPL satellite image of fires in Northwestern North America August 21, 2003 (1800x1500px)
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