Members of Comox Fire Rescue assisted with provincial wildfires this past summer. File photo

Members of Comox Fire Rescue assisted with provincial wildfires this past summer. File photo

Busy summer for Comox Fire Rescue assisting with province’s wildfires

‘We protected over 100 homes this summer and all of them were saved’

It has been a busy but productive summer for Comox Fire Rescue, as members made a significant impact on wildfires throughout the province.

Chief Gord Schreiner told Comox council at Wednesday’s council meeting many members were deployed by the province to help with large fires. Additionally, the department used their specialized structural protection equipment to assist.

“We try and get in front of the fires and try to protect the structures in front by putting sprinklers on (them),” he explained.

CFR’s first deployment was in 2003 to the Kelowna wildfires with one engine — that deployment lasted about three weeks, he said.

Since then, Comox has been deployed for structural protection in 2015 to Sprout Lake, in 2017 to Bella Coola and in 2018 to Nanaimo Lakes and Zeballos.

This past summer, members helped assist the fires in Kamloops and Merritt.

“We had 60 days of consecutive deployment with five people gone at all times,” Schreiner added. “We protected over 100 homes this summer and all of them were saved, so we’re quite pleased about that.”

He explained sprinklers are placed on the homes in front of the moving wildfire, with the hopes the fire goes around the wet home.

“We pick up our stuff, run forward again in front of the fire and protect another house, and so on and so on. We do that for days and weeks — it’s quite a bit different than the structure (work) we do around town.”

• • •

In recognition of 45 years of dedication to the fire service, Schreiner was recognized at the council meeting for his work with the department.

Mayor Russ Arnott noted Schreiner first joined the department in 1975.



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