(Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)

Vanderhoof Fire Chief confident about the district’s resources for upcoming fire season

Below is a QA with Fire Chief Ian Leslie.

With the fire season coming up, the Omineca Express reached out to Fire Chief Ian Leslie to know whether our department is equipped with the necessary resources.

Q: During COVID-19, are firefighters getting a chance to train for the upcoming fire season? What does that training look like?

Fire Chief: All meetings and practices have been cancelled. Members are continuing with our online training system.

Q: What kind of resources are needed to deal with a wildfire this year, and do we have those resources?

Fire Chief: No different resources are needed. Our wildfire response truck (Bush 11) and equipment has been in service since the beginning of April. We have — 1) F550 4×4, 5-person crew; 2) 300 gallon water system with class A foam system, pump and roll capable; 3) 150-foot hose reel; 4) 1800 feet of 1.5 inch hose; 5) 900 feet of 5/8 inch hose; 6) Two portable pump systems; 7) Five Backpack sprayers; 8) Hand tools.

Q: What sort of protocol changes have happened in the department as a result of this pandemic?

Fire Chief: Social distancing as much as possible when in the hall. It is impossible in the trucks during an emergency. There are extra disinfection procedures.

READ MORE: Province extends open burn ban

Q: Anything you would like to say to people about being ‘fire smart’ this season?

Fire Chief: Great time to ‘Fire Smart’ your property. Visit FireSmartBC.ca for more information. Please respect Provincial Burning Bans, Category 2 and 3 fires are not permitted. Camp fires are still permitted at this time.

What’s OK:

– On private property

– Under 1/2 meter

– Clean dry wood

– Area clear of hazards for three metres on all sides

– Adult Supervision

What’s not OK:

– Yard and Garden Waste

– Garbage

– Construction materials

– Burn Barrels and Cages

– Fireworks and Sky Lanterns

Aman Parhar
Editor, Vanderhoof Omineca Express


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