Those honoured at the Southeast District RCMP annual awards ceremony gathered for a group picture on Thursday afternoon in Kelowna. (Photo - Daniel Taylor)

RCMP officers recognized for fighting Ashcroft wildfire, taking down Hells Angels

Officers were recognized for fighting the 2017 Ashcroft fire and dismantling a Hells Angles ring

From fighting wildfires to dismantling a Hells Angel crime ring, a group of RCMP police officers were recognized by the Southeast District RCMP during their annual awards ceremony on Thursday afternoon in Kelowna.

Chief superintendent Brad Hugali said he couldn’t be more proud to bearwitness to the accomplishments of so many police officers, employees of the RCMP and partners with the BC Conservation Service.

Most notably, the ceremony recognized the efforts of members of the RCMP and BC Conservation Service that risked their lives to combat the Elephant Hill wildfire near Ashcroft in July 2017.

At its height, the Elephant Hill wildfire grew to 52,600 hectares in size and was the biggest fire burning in B.C. at the time.

Homes in Ashcroft and Loon Lake were destroyed by the wildfire that was classified as “out of control.”

“A perfect example to show the dedication to duty is demonstrated by Const. Nicholas Theoret who was the acting commander of Ashcroft during that day,” said Hugali.

“He watched his house burn, but he remained on duty to help other people in the community be safe and no lives were lost.”

Sergeant Brandon Buliziuk, who had no experience fighting wildfires, recalled the start of the wildfire in Ashcroft on that fateful day.

“I remember cresting the hill to drop into Cache Creek and that was when you could see fire on every side of the community,” she said.

“It hit right then that this isn’t minor, this is going to be crazy and it’s time to get to work.”

There was also special recognition to members of the Federal Serious and Organized Crime (FSOC) group who were involved in Project E-Predicate.

Project E-Predicate was an investigation that spanned over two-years across international borders in an effort to charge two senior Angels members and six others across B.C. for drug trafficking.

Four of those eight, including David Gillies, the vice-president of the Angels Kelowna chapter, was also charged with conspiring to import 500 kilograms worth of cocaine.

”What’s so significant about E-Predicate is that it started out as a small group of police officers having a goal and ended up apprehending and convicting a large number of people that included individuals that were linked to the Hells Angels,” said Chief Hugali.

“To me, that is a significant disruption into organized crime that took place and began right here in Kelowna.”

Several police officers were also recongized for their long-term service with the police force.


@Niftymittens14
daniel.taylor@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Clinton man faces first degree murder charge for 2018 homicide at Deep Creek

Wyatt Boffa, 29 has been charged in the death of Jamie Sellars Baldwin, 43,

Toys for Joys helps give local children a Merry Christmas

This year’s event brought in cash donations and toys and provided donors with a hot breakfast

Snowfall warning continues for parts of B.C.’s Interior

First significant snowfall of the season prompts Environment Canada warning

Highway 1 reopens to traffic near Yale

A rockfall closed the highway for several hours

New visitor’s guide and trail map to be published, GCCS tells council

Ashcroft council looks at communications, the curling rink, mosaics, and more at recent meeting

VIDEO: Kenney lays out key demands for meeting with Trudeau

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney aims for clear signs of federal action on two-day Ottawa trip

Fireballs to fill the sky Friday for brightest meteor shower of the year

Geminid meteor shower features colourful, brighter, longer shooting stars

Province sues over sailing incident that killed teen with disabilities

Gabriel Pollard, 16, died from injuries after marine lift failed

First Nations want Big Bar landslide cleared ASAP to allow fish passage

Leadership calling for urgent action and resources to remove obstruction on the Fraser

Assessed value of Lower Mainland homes expected to decrease in 2020

Other areas of province may see modest increases over last year’s values

Chilliwack family’s therapy dog injured in hit and run

Miniature pit bull Fifty’s owner is a single mother facing close to $10,000 in vet bills

Cougar destroyed in Penticton area after mauling dog, killing cat

This is the first reported incident with a cougar this year in the Penticton area

Feds not enforcing standards on Hungarian duck imports, B.C. farmer says

‘You have no way of knowing what’s in the bag’

No reports yet of Canadians affected by New Zealand volcano eruption, feds say

Missing and injured included tourists from the U.S., China, Australia, Britain and Malaysia

Most Read