The Okanagan Forest Task Force’s only means of getting garbage out of the backcountry broke down on Tuesday, April 6. (Kane Blake - Okanagan Forest Task Force)

The Okanagan Forest Task Force’s only means of getting garbage out of the backcountry broke down on Tuesday, April 6. (Kane Blake - Okanagan Forest Task Force)

Okanagan forest cleanup group’s truck repaired free of charge

Okanagan Forest Task Force uses the truck to haul garbage out of the backcountry

Kane Blake was almost in tears recounting his heartbreak after his truck stopped running and wouldn’t start up again last week.

Blake, the founder of the Okanagan Forest Task Force (OFTF), uses the truck for his family’s needs, but most of the time, he and his fellow OFTF volunteers use it to clean up the Okanagan backcountry. The truck helps the group hauls garbage and abandoned vehicles out of wooded areas and sometimes pulls a water tank to extinguish fires.

The OFTF truck stopped working after spending the day hauling abandoned vehicles on April 6. Blake announced on social media that he and the group wouldn’t be able to go back to cleaning up in the backcountry for the foreseeable future because he didn’t have enough money to get the vehicle fixed.

The community quickly rallied behind Blake and OFTF, with several community members organizing fundraisers on Facebook and GoFundMe.

But just as his story made it on the news, Blake said the Kelowna Ford Lincoln dealership got in touch with him.

“The service manager Ken Hiles said, ‘You should bring down your truck to us,’ but I didn’t have money for a tow bill, so he said to me to bill the towing fee to them,” Blake said.

Now, the dealership is taking care of the repair costs, and they’ll get Blake his truck back by the end of the week.

“The service manager told me to keep the donated money and to just use it for the group and the group’s needs,” Blake said.

“My jaw dropped, and I didn’t even know what to say. I just want to thank the entire community, as well as the people who donated and Kelowna Ford Lincoln.”

Blake said he thought OFTF wouldn’t be back cleaning up in the bush until mid-summer, but thanks to the community members who rallied behind him and the group, they’ll be back out in no time.

READ: Okanagan forest cleanup crew in need of donations after truck breaks down


@twilamam
twila.amato@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Five properties have been added to the Lake Country fire protection zone, after council moved to expand the local service area Tuesday, May 4, 2021. (Google Maps)
Lake Country expands fire protection zone, covering 5 exposed properties

The properties petitioned to join the local service area after being left out ‘for reasons unknown’

VSAR’s Air Rescue One unit assisted in a rescue in West Kelowna May 3, 2021. (VSAR screenshot)
VIDEO: VSAR’s Air Rescue One team assists in West Kelowna Rescue

The Vernon Search and Rescue helicopter team pulled off a successful rescue Monday

Kelowna seen from the top of Knox Mountain. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press Media file)
Accessibility concerns raised as Kelowna ponders banning vehicles from Knox Mountain

Knox Mountain Drive, which leads to two lookouts, has been closed since the COVID-19 pandemic began

Cops for Kids riders will be spinning 30 feet in the air on scissor lifts at SaveOn Foods locations in Kelowna, Lake Country and West Kelowna Saturday, May 8, 2021. (File photo)
Cops reach new heights for Okanagan kids

Nor-Val Rentals is doing the heavy lifting Saturday in Kelowna, West Kelowna and Lake Country

A proposed development would see two four-storey affordable housing complexes erected on Adair Street in Armstrong, next to the Nor-Val Arena. (Google Maps)
Local tenants to be prioritized for Armstrong affordable housing project

Staff have drafted an expression of interest to find a developer to move forward with on the project

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Peachland resident and cleanup volunteer Lloyd Stinson Sotas holds up a discarded TV riddled with bullet holes. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
PHOTOS: Peachland residents clean up community watershed

More than 70 people gave back to Mother Earth by assisting with the cleanup

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Kelowna OK Tire closed due to COVID-19 exposure

The business will remain closed until May 11

Most Read