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Media Release - Powell River residents to take caution during Provincial Wildfire Emergency

 
Powell River Fire Rescue is assessing its resources and its ability to contribute to fighting provincial wildfires in the wake of the BC government declaring a provincial state of emergency to support the ongoing wildfire situation.
 
Fire Chief Terry Peters indicated the provincial government declared a state of emergency on Wednesday, August 15, and that the Powell River region, fortunately, does not have any wildfires burning. Peters has been contacted by the BC Fire Commissioner’s office and has had conversations about deploying local resources to Fort St. James to help the provincial wildfire situation. “We are no strangers to the fire commissioner’s office in terms of our resources and abilities,” Peters said. “We’ve participated in prior deployments in the province in years past.”
 
Peters said, however, that the first commitment is to the City, and to the region’s fire departments through the mutual aid agreements, to ensure the area is protected. City fire rescue staffing is at a minimum right now, so Peters has held back from immediately committing resources to other areas.
 
“We are analyzing our resources, and with our staffing, we are trying to muster what we can in terms of committing resources outside of the City,” he said. “We need to do a complete head count before we deploy, and make sure we have adequate firefighting abilities within the City before we send people out. We are on standby until we determine our resources are healthy, and once we determine we are, then I’ll send resources out.”
 
As of August 14, there were 566 wildfires burning in BC, with 29 evacuation orders affecting approximately 3,050 people. In addition, there are 48 evacuation alerts province-wide, impacting approximately 18,700 people. Currently, more than 3,370 firefighters and contractors are actively engaged in fighting fires in BC. The extended weather forecast calls for continued hot and dry conditions, with risk of thunderstorms in some parts of the province.
 
The provincial state of emergency is initially in effect for 14 days and may be extended or rescinded as necessary.
 
Peters said there are steps that local people can take to help safeguard their properties against wildfires and that it’s important to be fire conscious. The local FireSmart program, for example, can assist residents in protecting their properties against wildfires. Readers can contact FireSmart Coordinator Marc Albert at firesmartpr@gmail.com, or 604.414.7839, for more information on the FireSmart program. Peters said Albert has been doing a fabulous job of getting the word out about the importance of prevention.
 
In terms of getting up-to-date, accurate information on BC wildfires, Trish Greenwood, Coordinator/ Public Educator at Powell River Fire Rescue, said there are several resources available. These include the EmergencyInfoBC web page at: www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca
In terms of reliable sources of information for the local situation, there is Powell River Fire Rescue’s Facebook page, plus the City of Powell River’s website and Facebook page.
 
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For more information, contact:
Powell River Fire Rescue
(604) 485-4431
 

 

Event date: 
Thursday, August 16, 2018 - 8:45am

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