A quiet forest area near Vernon has been turned into a dump, and a group of volunteers have agreed to clean up the mess.
The shell of a scorched RV can be found on Noble Canyon Road, just north of Lavington, along with a trashed fifth wheel and piles of garbage.
It is not known when the fire was lit, but the Okanagan Forest Task Force (OFTF) has stepped in to clear the aftermath.
OFTF is a volunteer group that cleans up illegal dumping in backcountry throughout the valley. Founder Kane Blake told the Morning Star on Wednesday that his team has partnered with ABC Recycling in Kelowna to tackle the burnt trailer.
Blake said when the group has worked with the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) in the past, things have gone smoothly, with the regional district providing a bin and covering tipping costs at the landfill.
That hasn’t been the case when working with the City of Vernon, which has told him his group will need to pay for their own expenses when cleaning up the backcountry.
“We go to Vernon and I don’t know if there’s no budget for it or whatever it is, but I don’t think we should be on the hook to pay for the bin and all the tipping, when we’re all volunteer anyways,” he said.
Blake says there are areas near Vernon’s boundaries such as King Eddie that the OFTF would like to clean up if the city and Regional District of North Okanagan is willing to work with them.
This clean-up site is not located within the City of Vernon boundaries. Blake went to the Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO), which agreed to reimburse the OFTF for tipping fees.
He added that folks trying to dispose of tricky items like an RV need to find a proper means of disposal; the backcountry is not a dumping ground.
“We have landfills, we have means to get rid of things,” he said. “If we can buy it, there’s a way to dispose of it.”