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Coordinated fire response protects area after vehicle blazes

Castlegar Source
By Castlegar Source
August 19th, 2020

Thanks to a coordinated, cooperative fire response, what could have been a catastrophic fire Tuesday ended up destroying only one vehicle, according to an Ootischenia Fire Department Facebook post.

The post described an incident yesterday at noon, in whiich Ootischenia Fire responded to a vehicle fire that was reported to be east of Castlegar on Hwy 3, by the Meldeana Trail, in the middle of a construction zone (which is in Ootischenia Protection Area, or OPA). The flagger (who called it in) had noticed the vehicle was smoking while waiting in the construction line up. The first apparatus out reached this location and did not find the construction or fire and continued on Hwy 3.

They reached the border of the OPA and made the decision to ask Forestry for a fire number to allow them permission and coverage to continue out of their area, as they could see the smoke from the vehicle fire around the next corner (roughly one km out of the OPA).

As both Ootischenia apparatus and personnel would be needed to put out the vehicle fire, they requested that Robson be put on standby so Ootischenia would still have protection.

“Upon reaching the vehicle they found that it was fully engulfed and the flames were starting to hit the trees on the side of the road,” the post said. “Occupants had safely exited the vehicle.”

Firefighters put water on the trees and then under the vehicle to suppress fuel flames while waiting for the second apparatus so firefighters could make a protected safe attack on the vehicle.

The second apparatus in attacked the vehicle with foam and found magnesium bolts holding the seats down in the vehicle which were starting to react, spark and explode, reacting to the water from the first apparatus exposure response. Both apparatus then were able to safely suppress and extinguish the fire.

“Thank you to the flagger for noticing the fire, Forestry for the fire number, Ootischenia residents for understanding the use of their apparatus leaving their area to suppress this fire, Robson for protecting Ootischenia and Ootischenia firefighters for putting in their time to train and put out this vehicle fire safely,” the post concluded.

Categories: General

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