UPDATED: Protest erupts after B.C. Wildfire Service nixes sprinkler idea to combat large fire

People are blocking sprinkler trucks from leaving Burns Lake as fire crews look to other options

UPDATE: The truckers from Alberta have now left Burns Lake. According to Burns Lake councillor Charlie Rensby, the RCMP did not allow protesters to stop the truckers from leaving, and the protest has now moved to another location near the B.C. Wildfire Service base in Burns Lake.

A group of Burns Lake residents are protesting wildfire officials’ decision not to use a sprinkler system to combat a large group of fires in the area. They’re now blocking more than two dozen Alberta truckers from leaving the town.

The Albertan truckers brought fire suppression equipment such as sprinklers, pumps and hoses to Burns Lake to help combat the 8,500-hectare Babine complex fire on the south side of the community. The group of fires is zero per cent contained.

But the B.C. Wildfire Service says this particular high-capacity water delivery system isn’t going to work due to several factors, including the terrain and an insufficient water source.

In a statement Friday night, the fire service said the system requires close proximity to “very large bodies of water” in order to work.

“They also require relatively flat topography and are most effective in densely populated areas,” it said.

Fire crews are evaluating if the use of an alternate water delivery system could work to supress the blaze.

But Burns Lake councillor Charlie Rensby, who joined Saturday’s protest, said he and others were not convinced by this explanation.

“The biggest injustice is that politics is coming into play when we should be saving people’s livelihoods,” said Rensby.

More to come.


 

@flavio_nienow
flavionienow@gmail.com

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

‘Community is amazing’: Williams Lake woman organizes drive-by birthdays

With self-isolation the norm due to COVID-19 children are missing out

Much of the Cariboo under open fire ban due to COVID-19

‘No new fires may be initiated and no additional material may be added to existing fires’

‘Big appreciation sound-off’ planned to honour Williams Lake health care providers

The parade will begin at 7 p.m. going through the Cariboo Memorial Hospital parking lot

COVID-19: Triage tent going up outside of Cariboo Memorial Hospital

Patients will be met outside of the hospital

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Most Read