A third crew from Saanich Fire Department left on Monday’s 7 a.m. ferry to Vancouver on its way to Williams Lake as the B.C. wildfire state-of-emergency continues.
Captain Darwin Schellenberg and firefighters Craig Ford, Carl Treples and Tom McConnell will replace the second team made up of Captain Ron Hyde, Brent Brice, Noah Elan and Ryan Loyer. The Saanich crews are on six day rotations since the first team was appointed there on July 12, and continue to be based out of a staging area near Williams Lake.
“This crew will travel by van and [assume] service ready E32 [engine],” said Saanich Deputy Fire Chief Dan Wood. “They’ll be doing some fire-smarting today, cutting away potential flammables from the houses.”
In their passenger van the crew brought some replenishing supplies for the van, hoses, fittings, and fuel for small equipment.
They’ll likely stay until Aug. 1.
“It’s pretty dynamic and fluid up there. A lot of [fire fighting] assets have been moved to Kelowna, but for the foreseeable future Saanich’s crew will continue to be deployed to Williams Lake,” Wood said.
The first and second crews were focused on water tender operations, pumping and drafting water out of bodies they could find, ponds and lakes, and using that water to fill portable tanks which are set up for sprinkler protection near residential areas under threat.
That included the Soda Creek area northwest of Williams Lake.
It’s still possible Saanich’s E32 could be moved to Kelowna and Penticton and that a fourth crew will soon be deployed to the rotation.