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Golden RCMP officer halts wildfire

Quick action stopped spread of blaze off Highway 1 near Golden
Cst. Mark Tataryn runs a water hose toward an active forest fire. (Golden RCMP photo)

On Wednesday Aug. 16, at around 4:40 p.m., Cst. Mark Tataryn of the Golden RCMP Highway Patrol noticed a brush fire on Highway 1 near Golden.

The fire was on the north bank of the highway near Forde Station Road. It was around 20 metres wide and travelling east, beginning to engulf large trees.

Tataryn used multiple fire extinguishers from his police vehicle, the vehicles of fellow RCMP officers who attended and other motorists’ vehicles who stopped to help.

A Kootenay Pumping truck was travelling on that section of the highway and was able to provide assistance to Tataryn who was already battling the flames. With the use of their pump and water lines, the group was able to slow the fire to a manageable size.

The Golden Fire Department arrived and took over from there, with the assistance of the Nicholson Fire Department, and BC Wildfire Services that attended via helicopter.

Other agencies assisting at the scene were EMCON and BC Hydro, who provided vital support.

“Without the quick thinking of Cst. Tataryn and staff from Kootenay Pumping, the outcome could have been devastating for the community” said Cpl. Lucas Sovio with the Golden-Field RCMP. “A special thank you to all of the local residents, passersby and first responders who helped fight the fire. Rob Ford, Mike Faucet, Brady Hubert, Robert Cowan, and others whose names we did not get, were amongst those Good Samaritans who stopped to lend a hand.”

The fire is believed to have started from a tree that fell onto powerlines over the affected area. Highway 1 was partially blocked with alternating traffic flow for around 2.5 hours while emergency crews worked to extinguish the blaze.

At 8 p.m., BC Wildfire Services updated police that the fire was fully extinguished and the highway was re-opened to traffic in both directions.

“This incident almost led to the evacuation of residents in the Blaeberry area” said Cst. Kat Robinson, media relations officer with the Golden-Field RCMP

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John Arendt

About the Author: John Arendt

John Arendt has worked as a journalist for more than 30 years. He has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Journalism degree from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.
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