News Release - July 14, 2017

Regional Fire Departments to Help Fight Forest Fires in BC Interior

NANAIMO, BC - Fire Departments across the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) have answered a call from the Office of the Fire Commissioner to help fight the wildfires in BC’s Interior. Fire departments unaffected by the wildfires were requested to send fire equipment with crews to help if available. As a result, the RDN Fire Departments, Parksville Fire Department, Qualicum Beach Fire Department, and Nanaimo Fire Rescue have assessed their local response needs and are sending support to the Interior wildfires.

On July 11, the Coombs-Hilliers Volunteer Fire Department sent a two-person crew and fire engine and Qualicum Beach Fire Department sent a two-person crew and water tender truck to assist in the Williams Lake area. Nanaimo Fire Rescue is ready to send a 4-person crew with a water tender truck and are awaiting confirmation for where they will be deployed in the Interior. Crews are expected to be deployed for a minimum of six days and will be rotated out with relief crews to ensure ongoing manning of the fire trucks. Relief crews will be formed from members of the several fire departments in the region for a coordinated regional response and to minimize impacts to any one department.

Doug Gardiner, Fire Services Coordinator with the RDN praised the support and dedication of the local firefighters stating “These guys are well trained and equipped for interface wildfire suppression. They want to help the Interior because if it was closer to home here on Vancouver Island, the Interior departments would help us without hesitation providing manpower and equipment. They need our help right now, so we are responding.”

The temporary deployment of this equipment and the crews to the BC Interior wildfires will not affect local fire response or services within the Nanaimo Regional District and partner municipalities.

For updates on the Interior wildfires, visit the BC Wildfire Service website at: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status

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Jon Wilson
Manager of Emergency Services
Regional District of Nanaimo