On Sept. 2, a tractor caught fire in Southside in the Quaw Ranch on Uncha Lake Road about 5km from the ferry. It was the third fire in Southside over the past month.
Luckily, a group comprised of the Southside Volunteer Fire Department, the Chinook Emergency Response Society, and several local residents were able to contain the fire in about two hours preventing it from spreading.
Lakes District News spoke to Chinook Emergency Response member David Gruen, who said that local community was a big help in fighting the fire. “There were 12-15 people that came to help in any way they could. Two trucks with water tanks were brought by locals, and people were using jackets and blankets to help stop the fire from spreading,” he said. “My wife spent time calling local residents to see if they could come and help out, even my grandkids were helping.”
According to Gruen, along with the help from local residents there were two emergency trailers with seven emergency response members, as well as two Southside fire trucks and six firemen on scene.
“It was a total joint effort,” said Gruen.
The tractor that caught fire belonged to Southside resident Gary Martin, who was also on scene helping fight the flames.
Among the local residents to help out was Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako Electoral Representative for Area E Clint Lambert, who was helping knock down flames with his jacket according to Gruen.
The overwhelming community response to the fire was nothing new to Southside, as a previous fire in Grassy Plains back in August saw dozens of members of the local community come and do their part to help out. Much like the recent incident at Quaw Ranch, their efforts were a big reason why the fire was contained.
Southside resident Dona Blyth, who was present during the fire, echoed the impressive response from local citizens in a recent Facebook post about the fire. “The response to this incident [along with the others] has been amazing. Shout out to Chinook Emergency Response, Southside Fire Department and all our neighbors,” she said in the post.
As a result of the efforts of everyone involved, the Southside fire chief was able to contact B.C. wildfire services and tell them to stand down, as the fire had been contained in a timely fashion. The fire was not recorded in the B.C. Wildfire Service dashboard.
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