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.
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.
– 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
– Construction materials
– Burn Barrels and Cages
– Fireworks and Sky Lanterns