Coastal firefighters dispatched to Interior

'Everyone who has been dispatched has someone replacing them' — Coastal Fire Centre information officer Lynn Wheeler

Nearly 150 people have been deployed from the Coastal Fire Centre to help fight fires in other parts of the province.

But according to CFC information officer Lynn Wheeler that doesn’t leave our fire centre short staffed.

“We’re in good condition,” said Wheeler, who added that despite the area’s fire danger level being quite high we have “resources in place.”

Wheeler said that every person who is dispatched to another area of the province is replaced by someone else.

“We move people around a lot but we make sure every fire centre is adequately covered,” said Wheeler, who is usually based in Port Alberni but is filling in for another information officer at the moment.

The CFC covers all of Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland, the Gulf Islands and Haida Gwaii.

In the Parksville Qualicum Beach area 12 people are currently working in other fire centres in British Columbia. Wheeler said none of the people deployed are firefighters but work in finance, dispatch, logistics, planning, operations and communications.

She said “everyone who has been dispatched has someone replacing them” as the fire centre practices cross training their staff for times like this.

Wheeler said depending on the fire season people may be deployed for a week, or the entire summer.

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