The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) is asking for the public’s help in the retrieval of stolen fire fighting equipment from the Merry Creek wildfire site. On the morning of Sunday, July 11, while performing fire perimeter checks, crews became aware of critical emergency fire fighting suppression equipment that had be stolen. The theft occurred sometime between Saturday, July 10 at 7:00 pm and the early morning of Sunday, July 11.
The stolen equipment, worth approximately $2,000, includes over 1,000 feet of forestry hose and six sprinklers. It had been deployed and set up to protect a home in the 500 block of Highway 3. Anyone with information is asked to contact Castlegar RCMP’s non emergency line at 250-365-7721.
“It is extremely disappointing and hard to imagine why anyone would steal this important, life saving equipment,” said Nora Hannon, RDCK Regional Fire Chief. “We want to make sure everyone in the community is aware the theft has occurred and ask anyone with information to please come forward to Castlegar RCMP.
Sprinkler protection equipment is essential for RDCK Fire Departments to operate safely during wild land firefighting activities and allow fire departments to protect homes and other infrastructure within the RDCK. With the increased number of fires in the province it has made sourcing specialized equipment and purchasing suppression equipment costly and difficult as they are in short supply (see attached examples of equipment stolen).
The Merry Creek wildfire, located 8 km SW of Castlegar, started July 1 and grew to over 15 hectares. BC Wildfire Service along with Ootischenia, Robson, Trail and Castlegar Fire Departments spent three days battling the wildfire, preventing any structure damage and by Monday, July 5 the wildfire was determined to be 100% contained. Ootischenia Fire Department continues to conduct daily monitoring of the area, walking the fire perimeter looking for hot spots to prevent any potential fire spread.
Incorporated in 1965, the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) is a local government that serves 60,000 residents in 11 electoral areas and nine member municipalities. The RDCK provides more than 160 services, including community facilities, fire protection and emergency services, grants, planning and land use, regional parks, resource recovery and handling, transit, water services and much more. For more information about the RDCK, visit www.rdck.ca.