DNVFRS crews join wildfire fight in Kelowna
District of North Vancouver Fire & Rescue firefighters are among the departments from across the province assisting in the fight against the wildfires in Kelowna.
A total of 11 members are currently in West Kelowna responding to the McDougall Creek Fire. The crews and a task force leader brought one fire engine and two of the DNVFRS’s new wildland pickup trucks designed to tackle rugged terrain and enable firefighters to fight forest fires in hard-to-reach places.
Along with this most recent deployment, DNVFRS has one member in Kamloops and one in Keremeos, both in supervisory roles.
“We’ve been assisting BC Wildfire since early May across the province, but the recent upswing of activity has increased requests for our services,” says Fire Chief Brian Hutchinson.“We have 13 members deployed. It’s probably the largest complement of personnel deployed in our history. We want to do whatever we can assist local fire crews and impacted communities.”
DNVFRS has also loaned one of its structure protection units to be used in Kamloops. An SPU portable sprinkler system protects up to 40 homes by spraying water on and around the buildings.
Fighting fires across BC
Chief Hutchinson noted that sending firefighters and equipment to aid other BC communities does not impact DNVFRS’s ability to respond locally.
“We’re supported by the City of North Vancouver and District of West Vancouver fire departments to ensure we have the necessary equipment and resources for any local need,” he says.
Since 2018, 52 DNVFRS firefighters have filled 148 positions in 19 communities, providing valuable on-the-ground field experience for the crews as they support communities in need.
“Many of our members have stepped up to deploy to aid impacted communities, and I’m proud of their sacrifices,” says Hutchinson. “We wouldn’t be able to provide this support without those members staying behind and covering the shifts for those deployed.”