The McLeese Lake Volunteer Fire Department is one step closer to building a hall and will be celebrating acquiring a parcel of lakefront property with a shovel-in-the-ground event Saturday, Dec. 14 at noon in McLeese Lake near the skating rink. (McLeese Lake Vounteer Fire Dept. photo)

The McLeese Lake Volunteer Fire Department is one step closer to building a hall and will be celebrating acquiring a parcel of lakefront property with a shovel-in-the-ground event Saturday, Dec. 14 at noon in McLeese Lake near the skating rink. (McLeese Lake Vounteer Fire Dept. photo)

Dream comes true for McLeese Lake fire department

The acquisition of a parcel of land will enable the construction of a fire hall

Volunteer firefighters in McLeese Lake are marking a milestone this weekend after acquiring a piece of property to build a fire hall, something the department have been hoping to get for a long time.

McLeese Lake Volunteer Fire Department president Ian Hicks said it’s been an extremely difficult six years getting to this point.

“There was a pizza-pie shaped piece of property down by the lake that was outside of the Agricultural Land Reserve that we were able to survey and create a legal agreement for with the local recreation society,” Hicks told the Tribune.

“One of our members has a daughter that’s a lawyer and she volunteered to create the agreement, which went back and forth to fine tune the wording.”

Hicks praised the Cariboo Regional District for being “totally on board,” in supporting the fire department in pursuing getting some land to use for building a hall and safely storing vehicles and equipment.

“Our area director, Steve Forseth, was just amazing — you have to love the guy. He is always helping us out.”

For his part, Forseth told the Tribune the property acquisition is great news.

He noted the community of McLeese Lake and Tyee Lake, where a fire hall was completed earlier this year, will both have their dreams realized before he completes his CRD director term in 2022.

“I know the community of McLeese Lake is pumped to get the construction going,” he said, adding he has also contacted BC Assessment Authority to ensure both fire halls are not subject to taxation.

“They told me to check in with them in October 2020 to make sure the halls are coded in so they are exempt.”

Hicks said for $1 the fire department has signed a 25-year agreement for the land.

“It’s lakefront which means unlimited water and in the future, long after I’m gone, the fire department could even have a fire boat,” Hicks said.

“Half the properties here are on the lake and all backed by forest. If you get a fire boat, there’s no danger whatsoever when you are in a boat. You can set yourself off shore and with a powerful enough cannon hit halfway up the mountainside.”

A “golden shovel,” event will begin at noon, Saturday, Dec. 14, with hot dogs, chili and coffee near the old ice rink right next to the property.

“It’s not a fundraiser, just a celebration,” Hicks added.

Read more: McLeese Lake Volunteer Fire Department gifted new truck

Recently the McLeese Lake Volunteer Dept. learned it will receiving a provincial gaming grant in the amount of $43,000.

Hicks said it’s the fourth or fifth year the department has received the grant from the province, but this year’s amount has left him overjoyed because it is so large.

“We are thankful, blessed, lucky and are going to put it to good use,” he said.

“The first time we got about $8,000 and thought ‘wow’ because we often cooked hamburgers for a day just to raise $300.”

The Gaming Branch is their biggest supporter, he said.

“And now we can use the money from them for operating expenses, which is so helpful,” Hicks added.

“It can go for tires, insurance, even fuel, that we need when we attend calls, so it is really awesome.”

Hicks was the driving force behind the creation of the fire department after a fiery crash about five kilometres north of McLeese Lake on Highway 97 claimed five lives, including four from one family.

Read more: Human-caused fire prompts McLeese Fire Chief to ask residents to stop burning grass

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Williams Lake First Nation provides a community COVID-19 update Friday, Jan. 15. (Williams Lake First Nation Facebook image)
Williams Lake First Nation Chief highlights importance of mental health amid COVID-19 outbreak

A time to be forgiving, sincere and loving, says Willie Sellars

Interior Health confirmed Friday, Jan. 15, there are now six staff members who have tested positive for COVID-19 at Cariboo Memorial Hospital. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
UPDATE: Six Cariboo Memorial Hospital staff members test positive for COVID-19

Interior Health said Friday, Jan. 15 testing is ongoing

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

The worker who tested positive was en route to the Mine Site near Wells. (BGM Map)
Wells mining company detects second positive COVID-19 case of 2021

The employee, who is asympomatic, had no known contact with Wells or Quesnel

Cale Murdock, 23, has been training with the Williams Lake Blue Fins and is hoping for an opportunity to compete at the Canadian Olympic Trials in April in Toronto, depending on whether they still take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Blue Fins swimmer Cale Murdock preparing for Canadian Olympic Trials in April

Cale Murdock was selected as one of the top 20 swimmers in the country in his events to attend

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

A COVID-19 outbreak at Vernon's Heritage Square long-term care home has claimed seven people. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Two more COVID-19 deaths at Vernon care home

Heritage Square has now lost seven people due to the outbreak

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Most Read