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.
Approximately 30 local residents are gathering near Overwaitea in Burns Lake this morning trying to prevent over two dozen Alberta truckers from leaving town.
The Albertan truckers brought fire suppression equipment such as sprinklers, pumps and hoses to Burns Lake to help combat the Babine complex fire on the Southside. 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 suppress the blaze.
Burns Lake councillor Charlie Rensby, who’s joining protesters this morning, 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.