Forests Minister Katrine Conroy joins Vernon residents to cheer on firefighters as they return to camp from the White Rock Lake fire Aug. 26. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

PHOTOS: Faces of the heroes fighting the White Rock Lake wildfire

Vernon residents cheer on firefighters twice daily as they return to camp

Not once, but twice a day, every day since Camp Vernon was established, some dedicated residents have been showing up to do what they can to show their appreciation.

Residents like Mackenzie and Theresa Rawlins and Deborah Bouwmeester, who you can usually catch in the morning and again in the evening, seated outside the entrance to the camp every single day.

“They’re covered in soot from head to toe and they are absolutely deflated,” Bouwmeester said. “They are so tired, they are just wiped. It stirs our hearts, we just want to let them know that we care.”

The staple cheering squad is usually joined by numerous other people, young and old, as they wave pom poms, clap and hold signs of gratitude up as the firefighters return ‘home’ from the field, and when they head out. This group is just one of others. Another group of cheerleaders situated on Old Kamloops Road does the same.

“One man had to call his wife, because he said it meant so much to him that we’re always here cheering them on. It makes us feel so good knowing that it means so much,” said Mackenzie, who comes with her mom in the evenings.

It’s their way of showing thanks, for all the crews are doing to keep them safe.

“Just know that we’re here , we’re cheering you on and we’re thinking about when you’re not here,” Theresa said.

They’ve even been making blue and red ribbons to give to the firefighters, other supports and close friends and family.

A main reason they started coming out was because the amount of negativity on social media and in the community after the fire destroyed a number of homes in the Monte Lake area.

“These guys and their faces they just looked so defeated. But it’s not them, they’re doing their job and people were just so, so mean,” Theresa said, choking back tears.

READ MORE: B.C. premier, forests minister tour White Rock Lake fire near Vernon

READ MORE: Burn postponed again on White Rock Lake wildfire


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

B.C. Wildfires 2021

 

Vernon residents cheer on firefighters as they return to camp from the White Rock Lake fire. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Minister of Forests Katrine Conroy visited the camp in Vernon Aug. 26 and was moved by the gratitude residents are showing to firefighters. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Vernon residents cheer on firefighters as they return to camp from the White Rock Lake fire. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Firefighters are camped out in Vernon while battling the White Rock Lake wildfire. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Firefighters are camped out in Vernon while battling the White Rock Lake wildfire. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Firefighters are camped out in Vernon while battling the White Rock Lake wildfire. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Firefighters are camped out in Vernon while battling the White Rock Lake wildfire. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Firefighters are cheered on by locals as they return to camp in Vernon after battling the White Rock Lake wildfire Aut. 26. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Firefighters are cheered on by locals as they return to camp in Vernon after battling the White Rock Lake wildfire Aut. 26. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Firefighters are cheered on by locals as they return to camp in Vernon after battling the White Rock Lake wildfire Aut. 26. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Vernon residents cheer on firefighters as they return to camp from the White Rock Lake fire. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Vernon residents cheer on firefighters as they return to camp from the White Rock Lake fire. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Vernon residents cheer on firefighters as they return to camp from the White Rock Lake fire. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Chilliwack firefighters are cheered on by locals as they return to camp in Vernon after battling the White Rock Lake wildfire Aut. 26. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Chilliwack firefighters return to camp in Vernon after battling the White Rock Lake wildfire Aut. 26. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

A Smithers firefighter returns to camp in Vernon after battling the White Rock Lake wildfire Aut. 26. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Vernon residents cheer on firefighters as they return to camp from the White Rock Lake fire. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Premier John Horgan speaks to members of BC Wildfire Service in Vernon Thursday, Aug. 26, where firefighters from all over are stationed while battling the White Rock Lake blaze. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Makenzie Rawlins pins a red and blue ribbon on Minister of Forests Katrine Conroy outside the Vernon fire camp Thursday, Aug. 26. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Premier John Horgan tours the BC Wildfire Service camp set up in Vernon Thursday, Aug. 26, where firefighters from all over are stationed while battling the White Rock Lake blaze. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)