UPDATED: Protest erupts after B.C. Wildfire Service nixes sprinkler idea to combat large fire

People are blocking sprinkler trucks from leaving Burns Lake as fire crews look to other options

UPDATE: The truckers from Alberta have now left Burns Lake. According to Burns Lake councillor Charlie Rensby, the RCMP did not allow protesters to stop the truckers from leaving, and the protest has now moved to another location near the B.C. Wildfire Service base in Burns Lake.

A group of Burns Lake residents are protesting wildfire officials’ decision not to use a sprinkler system to combat a large group of fires in the area. They’re now blocking more than two dozen Alberta truckers from leaving the town.

The Albertan truckers brought fire suppression equipment such as sprinklers, pumps and hoses to Burns Lake to help combat the 8,500-hectare Babine complex fire on the south side of the community. The group of fires is zero per cent contained.

But the B.C. Wildfire Service says this particular high-capacity water delivery system isn’t going to work due to several factors, including the terrain and an insufficient water source.

In a statement Friday night, the fire service said the system requires close proximity to “very large bodies of water” in order to work.

“They also require relatively flat topography and are most effective in densely populated areas,” it said.

Fire crews are evaluating if the use of an alternate water delivery system could work to supress the blaze.

But Burns Lake councillor Charlie Rensby, who joined Saturday’s protest, said he and others were not convinced by this explanation.

“The biggest injustice is that politics is coming into play when we should be saving people’s livelihoods,” said Rensby.

More to come.


 

@flavio_nienow
flavionienow@gmail.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police incident in Mount Douglas Park leads to road closure

Officers turning cars away, letting hikers go up trails

PHOTOS: Women’s March through downtown Victoria draws crowds of activists, allies

Attendees of all ages carried instruments, posters with empowering messages

Victoria resident lives well despite dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

New Victoria Conservatory music scholarship recognizes long-time Sidney resident

O. Thomas Webb died in Sidney last year after retiring to the community in 1975

‘Like an ATM’: World’s first biometric opioid-dispensing machine launches in B.C.

First-of-its-kind dispensing machine unveiled in the Downtown Eastside with hopes of curbing overdose deaths

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Ice chunk from truck crushes vehicle windshield on Vancouver Island

None injured, but Nanaimo RCMP say there can be fines for accumulations of ice and snow

Calls for dialogue as Coastal GasLink pipeline polarizes some in northern B.C.

Coastal GasLink is building the 670-kilometre pipeline from British Columbia’s northeast to Kitimat on the coast

Intense winds en route to Greater Victoria

Winter storm warning in effect for east and west regions while wind warning to hit south and north

Theft victim confronts suspects with baseball bat on Vancouver Island

RCMP in Nanaimo seek to identify of two people alleged to have used a stolen credit card

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Most Read