2017 was Kamloops Search and Rescue's busiest year on record

2017 was Kamloops Search and Rescue's busiest year on record due to its role in the wildfire evacuations last summer and search for fire chief swept away by flood waters in May.

Partly attributed to wildfires, search for Cache Creek fire chief

Kamloops Search and Rescue was busy in 2017 — they were called out to 49 separate tasks. (Kamloops Search and Rescue)

Kamloops Search and Rescue was called to 49 separate tasks in 2017 making it their busiest year-to-date.

Search and Rescue members put in 3,545 hours throughout the year — nearly double the 1,882-hour-per-year average from 2012 to 2016. Search manager Alan Hobler attributes the increase to several multi-day jobs and more members attending searches.

Kamloops search and rescuers were involved in several major events in 2017, including the search for Cache Creek fire chief Clayton Cassidy, who was swept away by flood waters in May and later found dead,

The search for Cassidy was an emotional one for Hobler.

"The community support and the numbers of people that came out to help look for him was phenomenal and to be part of that was definitely a powerful moment for me," he said.

Kamloops Search and Rescue was also active during the B.C. wildfires that devastated parts of the province in July and August 2017. Teams assisted with evacuations in Clearwater and preparing for the possibility of an evacuation from Kamloops and the surrounding areas.

"Fortunately, of course, we never had to get to that point," Hobler said.

The team logged nearly 22,000 kilometres of travel while trekking throughout the Interior for work.

Map shows where Kamloops Search and Rescue teams worked in 2017. (Kamloops Search and Rescue)

With files from Daybreak Kamloops