The Quesnel Volunteer Fire Department is deploying two of its members to Burns Lake tonight, Saturday Aug. 11, along with one water tender to support BC Wildfire Service firefighters in the area.
Quesnel fire chief Sylvain Gauthier says the local department was asked to send two members as well as the tender by the Office of the Fire Commissioner.
The Shovel Lake Fire is the largest blaze near to Burns Lake, currently estimated at 30,000 hectares. The BC Wildfire Service says it is 30 km northeast of Burns Lake. Much of the area near the fire is under evacuation order, with more properties on alert. The city of Burns Lake is not currently on alert or evacuation order.
The Island Lake, Verdun and Nadina Lake Fires are also all in the vicinity of Burns Lake, and are all Wildfires of Note with evacuation orders and alerts in effect.
“I have Ron Richert and one volunteer member [going],” says Gauthier. Richert is Quesnel’s fire inspector/safety officer.
“We try to send one member of staff so we have someone of authority.”
Gauthier says the members will be in Burns Lake for seven days at a time.
“We will find out more as the week goes along. On Wednesday we will know if we need to send more people, and we will see if there are more volunteers to go. They would go first thing in the morning on Saturday so the switch over could happen that night,” he explains.
Gauthier says he has enough staff and volunteers to handle any situations in town, and that if something happens, it’s just a matter of making a call.
“They can be back within five or six hours. So there are three [full time staff members] here this week. Unless something drastic happens, we have enough.”