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Burns Lake blockade aimed to stop fire suppression equipment from leaving area

About 30 people in Burns Lake blocked temporarily blocked about two dozen truckers, who had brought fire suppression equipment such as sprinklers, pumps and hoses, from leaving town Saturday morning.

RCMP, however, would not allow the protestors to blockade the truckers and the trucks have since left, according to the Lakes District News. The protestors were upset that, amidst a drastic fire season, fire suppression equipment is leaving the area.

The B.C. Wildfire Service issued the following statement:

The BC Wildfire Service is currently exploring a variety of suppression tools, including a range of water delivery systems. These higher capacity water delivery systems require close proximity to very large bodies of water. They also require relatively flat topography, and are most effective in densely populated areas. Recently, a high-capacity water delivery system was brought to Burns Lake to be assessed as a structural protection tool for the fires in the Babine Complex. In areas of the fire where this tool would be most effective, the water sources were insufficient, the terrain was challenging and there was significant distance between structures. The BC Wildfire Service deferred to the contractor’s knowledge of their system, and it was determined by the contractor that this high-capacity water delivery system was not an appropriate tool for this fire complex. As a result, the contractor is being released from the fire complex as the system is not a useful suppression tool for this particular fire. The BC Wildfire Service is currently evaluating the use of alternate water delivery systems for utilization on the Babine Complex as well as for future use with wildfire suppression.

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