A $10,000 cheque from Babine Forest Products was the latest donation toward the completion of a fire training facility in Burns Lake.
According to Burns Lake Fire Chief Rob Krause, the fire training facility was delivered on June 21 and is now set up at the training grounds site on Babine Lake Road.
“The burn building will allow the Burns Lake Fire and Rescue Department (BLFRD) and other fire departments in the region to practice firefighting skills in a controlled environment,” explained Krause, adding that the facility will soon be capable of hosting live-fire evolutions with temperatures reaching over 500 C.
“We just have to seal a couple of seams between the containers and finish writing the safety protocols [before we host live-fire evolutions],” he continued. “We have a work bee scheduled for July 28, so if all goes well we will do our first live burn on July 30.”
In addition to the live-fire evolutions, the training grounds will be used for auto extrication training, rope rescue, vehicle fires and several other practical firefighting skills training. The BLFRD has already been using the building to practice ladder drills, roof ventilation and blackout searches.
“Firefighters can learn advanced skills and techniques while closely supervised by experienced trainers,” added Krause.
The Burns Lake Fire Training Society, which consists of members of the BLFRD, has been working for the past five years on its plan to bring live fire training to Burns Lake.
To date, the society has invested nearly $150,000 on the project. The total cost does not include in-kind donations of labour and services.
The project was possible thanks to donations or in-kind assistance from the Burns Lake Community Forest, Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund Society, TransCanada’s Coastal GasLink, Babine Forest Products, Decker Lake Forest Products, Village of Burns Lake, Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako, Lakes District Maintenance, DWB Consulting and Reg Blackwell.
The grand opening of the facility is scheduled to take place on Sept. 17, 2018, with all of the sponsors invited to attend.