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Firefighters prepared for wildfire season

In June, Campbell River firefighters trained with the provincial fire commissioner in structural protection and wildland firefighting instruction. - Photo submitted
In June, Campbell River firefighters trained with the provincial fire commissioner in structural protection and wildland firefighting instruction.
— image credit: Photo submitted

Members of Campbell River’s Fire Rescue crews have brushed up their skills for fighting wildfires in time for what’s shaping up to be a hot, dry summer.

In June, they were trained by the provincial Fire Commissioner in the structural protection program, and four members were trained as level 1 Wildland Fire Fighter instructors.

“The workshop focused on the use of pumps, hoses and powerful sprinklers to protect structures in the areas known as the wildfire interface, where buildings are located close to forests, such as the McIvor Lake area,” says Deputy Fire Chief Thomas Doherty. “These structural protection units are on trailers and a single unit can protect up to 35 homes by dampening roofs and areas around structures to prevent sparks or embers from igniting. The units were provided by a joint effort between the UBCM, Wildfire Management Branch and the Office of the Fire Commissioner, and are easily moved anywhere in the province within 12 hours of dispatch.

“In addition to the provincial structural protection trailers, there are two SPU trailers available locally, one with the Oyster River Fire Department and one with the Comox Fire Department.”

Campbell River’s Community Wildfire Protection Plan identifies the McIvor Lake area as a high risk location for interface fires.

“While it’s important for crews to have the training and access to these structural protection units as a valuable tool in protecting structures, the most important thing is for people to do their part to prevent wildfires, and more emphasis is needed on public education around wildfire risks and measures home owners can take to reduce the risk of losing their home in the event of a wildfire,” says Doherty.

Find Fire Smart information at www.campbellriver.ca under City Services / Public Safety / Fire Services.

Fire Smart brochures are also available at City Hall and the No. 1 Fire Hall at 675-13th Avenue.

For more information, please contact Campbell River Fire Rescue at 250-286-6266.

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