BY LORNE ECKERSLEY
Quick response to a vehicle fire in the backwoods in the Iron Range north of Creston on Sunday afternoon averted a wildfire danger.
“We got a call about a fire on East Arrow Creek Road,” Canyon-Lister Fire Department chief Glenn Guthrie said on Monday. “But it turned out to be 8 km further, on the Iron Range forest service road.”
A vehicle had caught fire and the blaze had spread to brush beside the road, he said. “We arrived to a fully involved vehicle fire that spread to create a small wildfire.”
With the fire being outside the service area of local fire departments, Area B Director Tanya Wall and the Town of Creston gave permission under a “threat to community” clause. All local fire departments (except Wynndel, which was out on another call) responded, as did the BC Forest Service and RCMP, Guthrie said.
In addition to numerous fire trucks and tenders, a helicopter was summoned to drop water on the fire. A total of 24 firefighting personnel responded and numerous vehicles provided support.
“There was great inter-agency co-operation,” Guthrie said. “The air support helped to knock down the fire quickly.”
Firefighters stood down after several hours, but BC Forest Service personnel remained on the scene to monitor the situation.
“They poured more water on it today as a precaution,” Guthrie said.
He added praise for the RCMP.
“I can’t praise the police enough about how serious they are in writing tickets this year,” he said. One, for $1,150, was handed to the property owner whose un-permitted fire prevented the Wynndel Fire Department from responding to the Iron Range call.
“Conditions are tinder dry, and I encourage anyone who sees any indication of a fire to call 9-1-1 so that we can check it out immediately,” the fire chief said.