Robert Krause, Director of Protective Services, in front of the Burns Lake Fire Department. (Blair McBride photo)

Fire department seeks new firefighting gear

The Burns Lake Fire Department is seeking to buy new equipment to help it fight grass or forest fires.

Robert Krause, Director of Protective Services told the village council at its Oct. 8 meeting that the department plans to apply to the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF) for a $25,000 grant for the new gear.

The CEPF is a provincial program that aims to boost the resiliency of local governments, First Nations and communities in the face of emergencies, according to its website.

The department is considering purchasing two high-pressure fire pumps, 25-40 sprinklers, fire-resistant Nomex clothing and additional firefighting hoses, Krause said.

“This equipment is specifically used to fight wildland fires within the fire protection area. This could be grass fires in the spring, or forest fires in the summer. Typically the gear is lighter in weight, and more portable than ‘structural’ equipment” he explained, adding that the sprinklers would be enough to protect 10 homes.

The sprinklers would be similar to the new sprinkler system deployed in the spring by the Fraser Lake Fire Rescue Training Society.

READ MORE: Fraser Lake unveils new wildfire sprinkler unit

If the grant application is successful, the department’s staff would be sufficient to operate the new fleet of equipment, Krause said.

“A crew of five can set up sprinklers on a home in approximately one hour. Depending on the number of firefighters around as well as available help from the BC Wildfire Service, I anticipate we could deploy on 10 homes in four to five hours. There are a lot of factors that can affect this time, including distance to water.”

The addition of new gear suited to wildland use includes the rescue truck that was replaced in late June with a new Freightliner truck that arrived from South Dakota.

LOOK BACK: Council OKs $80,000 loan for new fire truck

That older vehicle will be converted into a wildland engine for fighting wildfires.

Blair McBride
Multimedia reporter
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