The Burns Lake and Houston branches of the BC Wildfire Service have added more personnel to their initial attack crews. (BC Wildfire Service photo)

Burns Lake, Houston get more initial attack crews

The BC Wildfire Service branches in Burns Lake and Houston are preparing themselves for might come this season and have expanded the size of their initial attack crews.

Last year the towns had two crews each and they submitted a proposal last fall to add more, which was approved, and the service began recruiting on April 1.

“Now we have three here. That’s a total of seven new firefighters in our zone,” wildfire assistant Will Roberts told Lakes District News on May 16.

An initial attack crew usually has three people, and this year the Youth Employment Program, which hires kids from Lakes District Secondary School will add one person to each crew, bringing the total to 12 initial attackers.

“We changed the configuration in Houston to two five-person crews,” said zone wildfire officer Cliff Manning. “We’ll have a total of five initial attack crews in the Nadina zone this year.”

The added personnel should speed up response time for the crews, and add capacity to hit small fires, such as those started by lightning strikes.

“Initial attack crews’ bread and butter are small fires. With more people we can get them out faster,” Roberts said. “We’re very happy that we’ve gotten the approval from the higher ups for more staff so we can serve the community better.”


Blair McBride
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