As of Monday afternoon View Royal Fire Rescue was still awaiting word on whether they would be called out to the wildfire-ravaged B.C. Interior.
Fire Chief Paul Hurst has already been deployed to work with the fire commissioner’s office in Kamloops and he was later redeployed to Williams Lake, where a series of fires are estimated to total 10,000 hectares combined.
Hurst, who was unavailable for comment prior to the Gazette’s deadline, has likely been helping to form a provincial fire department and assisting with the process of pulling in additional resources, according to Assistant Chief Rob Marshall. These are standard practices whenever a state of emergency is declared, as the B.C. government did over the weekend.
“It’s just the simple things like where the fire trucks can fill up,” Marshall said of the difficulties of disaster management. “There’s a lot of resources required to be able to support the apparatus.”
Hurst may also be involved with evacuation planning, Marshall added.
If View Royal gets deployed, they’ll send their spare pumper truck and four firefighters.
Marshall worked as a planning operations chief during the 2003 B.C. wildfires near Kelowna – the last time the province declared a state of emergency – and helped with the co-ordination of personnel and equipment in and out of the area.
His experience during that blaze gives him some insight into the challenges facing crews right now.
“It’s no simple task dumping 100 fire trucks into a community … It’s a logistical nightmare and getting that in order is a huge task,” he said.
Other Greater Victoria crews are also likely to be called as needed.