British Columbia is facing another extreme fire season with over five hundred fires burning in British Columbia. On Aug 15th a provincial state of emergency was declared for the second year in a row.
After a request for assistance from the Office of the Fire Commissioner (OFC) Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue deployed our reserve Fire tender (RT2) with two SSIFR firefighters; Capt. Doug Ponsford and Firefighter Patrick Byrne.
Our SSIFR firefighters joined forces with over 100 firefighters from all over the province in an effort to combat the Shovel Lake Fire. The massive Shovel Lake fire is estimated to be 85,744 Hectares in size. The firefighters are calling Nechako Valley Secondary School in Vanderhoof home. Capt. Ponsford expressed that the community has been very supportive and welcoming.
SSIFR Firefighters Ponsford and Byrne are part of Task Force 3 and are shuttling water for fire suppression and structural protection in the Babine area fires burning near Fraser Lake and Ft St James.
Last year SSIFR sent fire crews to assist in the efforts in Williams Lake over a five-week period.
We will know more this coming week if a second deployment is requested by the OFC. I will continue to provide updates on our members’ progress as they develop. For all those battling the fires, and supporting the efforts in British Columbia, thank you and stay safe, our thoughts are with all those affected by these devastating fires.