With fire season around the corner, those living in the area from BX Foothills up to, and including, Silver Star Mountain Resort should know the area has been deemed one of the vulnerable areas in the province for an interface fire.
To help educate home and property owners in the BX-Silver Star corridor, Silver Star Fire Rescue is hosting an open house at the Silver Star fire hall Tuesday from 4 to 6 p.m. All agencies that would be involved with a fire incident in that area will be on hand with equipment and personnel to answer questions and give direction.
In attendance will be: Silver Star Fire Rescue Silver Star Ski Resort Wildfire Response Team, BX-Swan Lake Fire Rescue, an initial attack crew from Ministry of Forests, Vernon Search and Rescue, RCMP, Forestry fire interface consultants, BC Hydro; Emergency Social Services and Silver Star Fire Rescue Auxiliary.
“It is very important for everyone living in the BX-Silver Star corridor to come to the information meeting”, said Bill Wacey, fire chief at BX-Swan Lake Fire Rescue.
“The recent fire that devastated the community of Slave Lake, Alta. and the fires in the past few years in Kelowna and Salmon Arm should act as a wake-up call to us all.”
BX Fire Rescue is in the process of spending $36,000 on Sprinkler Protection Units (SPUs). These units can be deployed on and around rural homes and offer a first defense against interface fires. One SPU unit that would cover two properties runs about $2,500.
“As well as the units we are building and buying, we have purchased a trailer to carry them all,” said Wacey.
Counterpart Russ Mills, fire chief at Silver Star Fire Rescue, has been working closely with Wacey as Silver Star Fire Rescue will be purchasing SPU equipment for the Silver Star Resort community that will be compatible with the BXFR equipment.
In all Silver Star expects to spend $10,000 this year with plans for more spending next year.
“Spending money on protective equipment is all well and good,” said Mills, “but we really need all of the people living in the BX-Silver Star corridor to play their part in fire proofing their properties and the area as a whole. It is important that bans on open fires are respected, and that smokers dispose of their cigarette butts indoors and inside their vehicles.”
Silver Star Mountain Resort is planning to open for summer operations June 24.
“We have some unique challenges here,” said Brad Baker, the Star’s operations manager. “We will have guests out and about biking, hiking and trail riding enjoying several hundred acres of natural environment. Our operations staff is on the mountain most days from sun up to sundown, and is very diligent. We have firefighting equipment consisting of a mini pumper, water tender, a porta-tank and forestry pumps and hoses, as well as a dozer and excavator.”
The resort and the resort community depend on the public to be fire smart, and to report fire as quickly as possible.
The Silver Star Fire Rescue Auxiliary will be hosting the open house and will be providing light refreshments. The auxiliary is made up of Silver Star community residents.