The Errington Volunteer Fire Department posted this photo to its page. The department has been deployed near Burns Lake to help battle the wildfires in the Interior. — Errington Volunteer Fire Department Facebook photo

Qualicum Beach, Errington, Coombs-Hilliers fire depts. head to Interior

Firefighters working on rotation

Three local fire departments have been deployed to the Interior to help battle wildfires, according to local fire chiefs.

Members of the Errington Volunteer Fire Department were deployed earlier this month to Fort Saint James to help battle wild fires near Burns Lake, according to Errington fire chief Troy Bater.

The department received a call from the Office of the Fire Commissioner requesting assistance and a Tender 213.

Brad Williams and Skyler Collins were the first two members to be deployed and were replaced by Matt Smith and Bradley Bater last Monday.

“They’re shuttling water right now,” said Bater. “We have a tanker up there.”

Qualicum Beach fire chief Darryl Kohse said two firefighters and a tender were sent up to the Burns Lake area as well to help battle fires around François Lake. He said his understanding is there are a lot of farming properties around the lake.

Kohse said the work was the same as last year and the Qualicum Beach firefighters were part of task force two.

“We’re working with about 20 other departments in the Interior just in task force two,” said Kohse, adding that there are about five task forces in the area.

As of Aug. 20, Kohse said two other firefighters were heading up to relieve the first two firefighters. He said he wasn’t sure how long the deployment would be, but estimated it would be another couple of weeks.

The Coombs-Hilliers department was also deployed to the Burns Lake area. A crew of three members were first deployed on Aug. 12. Crews are replaced every week by a new three-member team.

The department also sent a multi-purpose engine to assist with the fires.

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