A training exercise focusing on wildland/urban interface fires will take place in the York Road area of Oyster River on Sunday, April 28. The event will provide cross-training opportunities for first-responder agencies.
Local residents may notice increased traffic levels, sirens and emergency personnel and equipment activity during this exercise.
Participating agencies will include the Wildfire Management Branch of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, the BC Ambulance Service, search and rescue organizations, the RCMP, local governments, fire departments and emergency personnel. BC Hydro, FortisBC, the Campbell River Amateur Radio Society and other local partners will take part.
The agencies will be using fire engines, water tenders and rescue vehicles. Other resources include a Type 1 Structural Protection Unit (giant sprinkler), which is used to protect buildings in the event of an approaching wildfire.
The April 28 training exercise will follow two days of training on how to respond to a specific wildfire scenario: an aggressive, wind-driven wildfire started by a motor vehicle fire on Highway 19. Highway 19 will not be affected by this training scenario. However, first responders will be working on or near York Road.
A wildland/urban interface is where a wilderness area meets an urban development. In the interface area, buildings and vegetation are sufficiently close together that a wildfire could spread to nearby structures.
Due to the complex nature of interface fires, a multi-agency response is usually required. These agencies may set up a unified command structure to determine objectives, identify strategies, establish communication links and assign tasks and functions to protect life and property.
This demanding training exercise will require first responders to collaborate closely with one another as they hone their skills to prepare for future emergencies.
For the latest information on current wildfire activity and burning restrictions, go to: http://www.bcwildfire.ca
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Donna Macpherson or Marg Drysdale
Fire Information Officers
Wildfire Management Branch
Coastal Fire Centre
250 951-4209 (media line)