Crews from View Royal, North Saanich and Sidney utilize a drafting pond to soak stacked timber at the mill in Williams Lake. (Photo courtesy North Saanich Fire Department/Facebook)

Second round of West Shore firefighters continue to battle blazes in B.C. Interior

Local crews are fighting fires in Williams Lake and 150 Mile House

Members of the View Royal, Metchosin and Langford fire departments have been deployed to the Interior to help fight wildfires.

More firefighters from Langford, Metchosin and Sooke are preparing to head to the Interior. The new four-person crew will replace the team already in place at 150 Mile House.

That team has been busy this week monitoring hot spots.

A new crew of View Royal firefighters was also sent earlier this week to replace a team already battling fires in the Interior.

Four firefighters from View Royal Fire Rescue, along with several from North Saanich and Sidney, arrived in Williams Lake on July 12. They followed View Royal Fire Chief Paul Hurst, who was deployed ahead of the team to work with the fire commissioner’s officer in Kamloops before being sent to Williams Lake.

Crews from across the province have combined forces to help battle the roughly 160 wildfires threatening the central and southern Interior. Fifteen of those are interface fires with evacuation orders or alerts associated with them. The areas under evacuation include: the Fraser River east to the Beaver Lake Road, north to the Quesnel River, east along the Quesnel River to approximately Hydraulic, south east to Antoine Lake, south to MacIntosh Lake, east to the existing order at 150 Mile.

Afternoon briefing for the task force crews responsible for defending Williams tonight! Be safe guys and good luck!!

Posted by View Royal Fire Rescue on Saturday, July 15, 2017

View Royal firefighters were sent in one of Town’s spare pumper trucks and will likely be deployed for a period of five or six days before trading off with another four-man crew, should the need continue.

A series of fires in that area are estimated to total 40,000 hectares combined and continue to threaten the city of roughly 10,000 people. An evacuation order was issued on July 15 for Williams Lake.

On July 16, firefighters from View Royal, Sidney and North Saanich were in action pre-soaking stacked timber at the mill in Williams Lake as the flames continued to approach.

A joint task force including firefighters from Langford, Metchosin and Sooke was deployed on July 13 and arrived shortly after at the 150 Mile House fire department to help with fires in that area.

Since April 1, there have been 675 fires total burning more than 327,000 hectares across B.C. at a cost of $98.4 million so far.

More to come as this story continues to develop.

katie@goldstreamgazette.com

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