The BC Wildfire Service branches in Houston and Burns Lake are preparing themselves for might come this season and have expanded the size of their initial attack crews.
Last year the towns had two crews each and they submitted a proposal last fall to add more, which was approved, and the service began recruiting on April 1.
“We changed the configuration in Houston to two five-person crews,” said zone wildfire officer Cliff Manning. “We’ll have a total of five initial attack crews in the Nadina zone this year.”
In Burns Lake, wildfire assistant Will Roberts said, “Now we have three here. That’s a total of seven new firefighters in our zone.”
The added personnel should speed up response time for the crews, and add capacity to hit small fires, such as those started by lightning strikes.
“Initial attack crews’ bread and butter are small fires. With more people we can get them out faster,” Roberts said. “We’re very happy that we’ve gotten the approval from the higher ups for more staff so we can serve both communities better.”