Letter: Is LNG tank wildfire-proof?

Mount Hayes is the site of a massive LNG storage tank

Is LNG tank wildfire-proof?

The recent forest fire near Mount Hayes should concern all of us living in the Cowichan Valley. I see the province is going to provide funds to local agencies for flood planning but the same planning needs to go into wildfire planning. Making sure your own property is fire safe is fine but given we are surrounded by forests (tree farms) which can generate high heat and its own winds we need to have an area plan in place.

Mount Hayes is the site of a massive LNG storage tank that has the capacity to store 1.5 billion cubic feet of LNG. The tank has been built to known hazards such as earthquakes and severe weather conditions, however I doubt whether the design took into account the heat that can be generated from a wildfire out of control with potential flames reaching 50 metres in height and temperatures of 1,200 C or higher.

During the 2003 fire in the Interior a sawmill placed all of its mobile equipment and vehicles in a shed with a substantial sprinkler system but when the wildfire approached its heat turned the water to steam and proceeded to destroy the shed and all the vehicles and equipment inside.

I have two questions since after one hour I could not find any risk study on LNG storage tanks and wildfires. Is the Mount Hayes facility equipped to keep its storage tank protected from such high heat? LNG is cooled to -160 degrees so what occurs when the LNG is heated to normal seasonal temperatures outside of the tank and what happens when it is heated to much higher temperatures from a wildfire?

Phil Le Good

Cobble Hill

Cowichan Valley Citizen