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Some campers undeterred by wildfires this long weekend

Pamela Haaf and Brian Cochrane at Juniper Beach Provincial Park. (Marcella Bernardo, NEWS 1130, Photo)

JUNIPER BEACH (NEWS 1130) – Campers from as far away as California are spending this BC Day long weekend at a provincial park now under an evacuation alert west of Kamloops.

With white flakes of ash from the nearby Elephant Hill fire drifting down around him, Ron Masson, from Kamloops, was getting ready to do some fishing at Juniper Beach Provincial Park.

He says he’s been to this campsite several times and it’s never been so quiet.

“We knew it was going to be a bit slow this weekend, but kind of expected there’d be more. But with the smoke and everything, it was not a surprise to see it half-empty.

“It’s been more than entertaining with the Parks people trying to keep us updated on the alerts and everything. They’re getting quite frustrated with the lack of information.”

Pamela Haaf and Brian Cochrane took a chance they’d get a spot without making a reservation.

“It was way easier than I expected for August long weekend, there was no traffic on the highway. I think people were afraid of the fires,” Haaf says.

“We decided we’d probably be able to leave if there was a problem. And that it would probably be a lot less busy. It’s been awesome, it’s been super hot, we got tonnes of space, we got an extra campsite because there’s not very many people here.”

Cochrane adds he’s not worried about the evacuation alert turning into an order.

“They don’t need to worry about us, we’re gassed up and ready to go. I’m sure they’ve got evacuation routes and everything together and ready to keep us safe.”

Another couple from California making their way up to Alaska say they’re used to the smoke because wildfires are now common where they live.

Listen to Marcella Bernardo’s interview with camper Brian Cochrane.