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Wildfire deployment an eye-opening experience for Metchosin Fire Chief

Camaraderie, collaboration leave a lasting impression
(Metchosin Fire Department Facebook)

Rick Stiebel/News Gazette staff

Two weeks spent fighting the wildfires ravaging the province fueled Metchosin Fire Chief Stephanie Dunlop’s appreciation of the level of effort and planning by everyone involved.

Dunlop recently returned from a two-week deployment Aug. 14 to 27 that took her to Fort St. James, Vanderhoof and Burns Lake. “We moved around as required,” Dunlop said about her work with base operations deploying resources. “It was a great experience and provided better insight into what’s involved in a large-scale operation,” she said, noting that it was a collaboration between B.C. Forest Services, B.C. Wildfire Service, Office of the Fire Commissioner and Emergency Management B.C. “It gave me a better understanding of the process, and it was amazing to work with so many different departments. The level of camaraderie was exceptional.”

Metchosin teamed up with the Sooke and Langford departments this summer in the same manner as last year, with Sooke and Metchosin each providing an engine. The three departments collaborated to fill the requirement of four members for each engine to ensure local resources and response wasn’t depleted, Dunlop explained. Metchosin’s engine has been deployed since Aug. 15 in Burns Lake, and another crew is scheduled to head up there on Sunday (Sept. 2)

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