Recent brush fires - including one today - underline importance of regional mutual aid agreements
Ootischenia Fire Department responded to a brush fire just outside of town this afternoon, according to OFD Captain Cody Kabatoff.
He said the call came in at roughly 4:15 p.m., and OFD responded to a wildfire about six km up Hwy 3 toward Christina Lake, with mutual aid assistance from the Castlegar Fire Department.
“We responded with one engine, one tender, and a crew of six, Castlegar responded with two engines, two command vehicles, two chiefs and a crew of six as well,” Kabatoff said. He said the fires was about two metres by two metres, roughly 25 feet off the highway.
“It was knocked down in minutes,” he added. “It was contained by College Creek on the one side and the rocky bank of the highway on the other.”
He said the cause is still under investigation, but it was likely human-caused, given the proximity to the highway.
He also offered his thanks to the Castlegar FD for their assistance.
This was the sixth brush fire the Castlegar department has responded to this work week, according to Fire Chief Gerry Rempel.
The early week saw five fires within a 13 hours period – two at the same time Sunday evening, another Monday at 1 a.m. and another at 7:10 a.m.
“Robson helped us out with one of the fires Sunday morning,” Rempel said. “Mutual aid agreements are really important – they give us the authority to leave our fire protection area. The extra resources can make a really big difference, depending on the circumstances. With weather and wind, (fires) can move pretty quickly.
“We have a good working relationship with area departments – our mutual aid system is very effective.”