(Lorrie Jane/Facebook)

VIDEO: Kamloops boaters become B.C.’s newest firefighters

A jet engine boat prevented a grass fire from spreading

A pair of quick-thinking Kamloops boaters did their bit to stop a grass fire from spreading on Saturday afternoon.

Koyne Watson and Tasha Hunt were out on the South Thompson River in their jet boat when they saw smoke rising from the river’s edge.

“We were like ‘holy crap, it that a fire?’” Hunt said.

It turns out it was and Watson leapt into action, using his motor to spray water on blaze.

READ: B.C. in the midst of third-worst wildfire season

“He took a pass at it and he hit the flames. The flames started to kind of go down,” said Hunt. “So he kept going and doing pass after pass until the fire trucks came.”

Lorrie Jane Arnott watched it all with her husband and daughter from a nearby boat.

FULL VIDEO: Boaters douse Kamloops brush fire

“We could see the ‘cigarette boat’ as they are called whipping around dousing it with it’s ‘rooster tail’ of water spray,” said Arnott.

Watson and Hunt couldn’t believe they’d actually doused a fire.

“There were people in boats and cheering. It was hilarious!” Hunt laughed. “I can’t believe we shot the water up that high.”

Most boats wouldn’t have been able to hit the flames, high up on the river bank as they were.

“[Watson’s] got an inverter that makes it jet up as high as he wants,” said Hunt.

Arnott was amazed.

“We have a regular ski boat and there’s no way we could have gotten that close with our propellor down,” said Arnott. “No one else could have done that.”

READ: Justin Trudeau to visit Williams Lake

While Watson did have to replace a rubber trim on his boat, Hunt said that it didn’t sustain any serious damage.

“We were running super super hot because of how hard [Watson] was revving the engine,” Hunt said. “So it took us a bit to cool it off.”

For her part, Arnott is grateful that Watson showed up when he did – like many, she has friends and family affected by the wildfires.

“My friend’s family just lost their home and property and now my in-laws who live by Sheridan Lake may be evacuated,” she said.

“B.C. is on fire and it’s like a war zone.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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